Our Air Traffic Control System Is a Primitive Bureaucracy - Reason.com
"Wonder why your flight is late?
Why planes keep circling?
Why even after you've landed, you sometimes can't deplane?
Bad weather plays a role, but flying is also nastier because American airports use 50-year-old technology.
This shouldn't surprise us.
Government bureaucracies are always slow.
That's as true on the tarmac as everywhere else.
It's not Federal Aviation Administration workers' fault.
They're just following the government rulebook that says you must not change something without getting permission first.
You must not buy anything without going through cumbersome acquisitions regulations.
The FAA's new NextGen system was designed to make the system more efficient by using satellites instead of ground-based radar.
It would let planes fly closer to each other, speeding up everything.
This technology has existed for two decades, but because of the bureaucracy, it's still being rolled out.
"By the time the government gets the equipment, many times it's no longer state-of-the-art," complains Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Outside government, progress happens.
Uber replaces taxis because Uber is better and safer.
Waze is better than paper maps.
My laptop, on which I write this, is better than my typewriter.
Outside government, people constantly invent better computers, phones, foods, music...
Within government, people follow the old rules.
So President Trump did the right thing when he said he wants to privatize air-traffic control.
"Our air traffic control system is stuck, painfully, in the past," said the president.
"Billions of tax dollars spent and the many years of delays, we're still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn't work."..."