To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Feds To Air Travellers: FAA-ck You!

Not satisfied with the extent to which the feds have already fucked up air transportation, outgoing FAA administrator Marion C. Blakey has announced:

"Passengers are growing weary of schedules that aren't worth the electrons they're printed on," Marion C. Blakey told a group of aviation executives at the Aero Club.

"Airline schedules have got to stop being the fodder for late-night monologues. And if the airlines don't address this voluntarily, don't be surprised when the government steps in."

Right... when the government "steps in." Because so far they've done so well at keeping their noses out of the industry.

Word choice aside, what makes Blakey think that the FAA is able to schedule flights better than the airlines? I can't claim that the major airlines don't have problems, but they have decades of experience at scheduling flights, even if they've done a sub par job at times. The FAA, on the other hand, has no experience scheduling flights. Where will they find the people necessary to handle this task for every US airline and airport? Not to mention, what gives the federal government the authority to intervene, anyway?

Ok, so I'll give Blakey the benefit of the doubt and assume that the FAA doesn't intend to directly schedule the flights, but only to set ground rules for the airlines. First off the rules probably would be ineffective, but more importantly open to corruption and favoritism.

Without going into individual regulations and their side effects, I will guarantee that deregulation of the industry and privatization of air traffic control would do far more good for air travellers than anything the feds could ever dream up.

Bonus: Cato's Chris Edwards succinctly makes the case for ATC privatization here.

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