However travelers often experience much frustration because thousands of regularly scheduled flights each month that are either canceled or continually delayed 70 percent or more of the time.
Much of the problem is due to the United Stated being dependent on an outdated air traffic control network that relies on radar rather than satellite based technology.
The technology the Federal Aviation Administration uses to navigate $200 million jets is less advanced the GPS technology drivers use to steer $20Free Reprint Articles,000 cars.
A new air traffic control system was first proposed in 2003 called Next General Air Transportation System (NextGen) that would employ satellite and data technologies that would reduce flight delays by 35 percent by 2018.
Modernizing the country’s antiquated air traffic control system would result in the following immediate and lasting benefits:
· Travelers would experience fewer flight delays.
· Fewer flight cancellations would take place.
· Passengers would spend less time en route because planes could fly more direct routes.
· Safety would be enhanced because risks could be better identified and then resolved.
· Fuel savings would reduce airlines operating expense and cut back aviation’s carbon footprint.
The reason this new air traffic control system has not been installed is funding. Neither the U.S. government nor the airline industry has yet been willing to pay what it will cost to install this system. Politics over funding government projects in general has resulted in the FAA working without a long term reauthorization since 2007.
The airlines position on equipping their own aircraft with the technology needed to track their airlines via GPS has been that if they have to pay for new equipment then they prefer not to have it.