The government is about to embark on reducing congestion in the skies in an effort to reduce flight delays this holiday season. The new regulations to improve efficiency include:
1. Legislation to limit storms and weather conditions in the areas where airports reside. Similar to a “Drug Free Zone” around schools, it will be a “Weather Free Zone” around airports.
2. All planes that currently must follow air traffic controller’s directions will be lifted. This will allow pilots to speed up and decide when they think it is safe to land and take off.
3. Planes will be asked to “partner” during take offs and landings. Landing and taking off one by one causes delays. Planes will be asked to pick a partner and land and take off two by two.
4. Regulations that require two pilots on commercial flights will be lifted to allow one pilot to command the plane. This will increase the number of pilots eligible to fly and will help with regulation 3. The retirement age will be lifted to the age of 90.
5. An “Airport Optional” program will be implemented immediately. At a pilots discretion, and if they can get the passengers to agree on the place, pilots will be cleared to land in corn fields, parking lots, and highways with less than 100 cars within visual range. This will improve access to the ground and reduce bottle necks at our limited airport infrastructure.
6. Finally, Airlines willing to invest in parachutes for their customers will be allowed to push people out of the plane at designated “Parachute Airports”. Airlines are not required to inform their passengers of this option but the government strongly suggests that they do.
The thought that this is even a task the government should be involved in is ludicrous. It is the equivalent of trying to fix the traffic problem at the George Washington Bridge in NY, Sagamore Bridge Cape Cod Massachusetts, and the highway system at any major city in the country, by passing a few laws.
The airlines need help but it will take a major restructuring of Air Traffic Control, the building and expansion of our Airport infrastructure, and a government willing to stay the heck out of the arena of private business. Just a thought…