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ORDTLV2414
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Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:18 am

For anyone who has ever flown in the United States knows that our airports and skies are very congested. Not enough seats at airports,lines to take off, waiting for a gate after landing, circling airports and of course the lines that we encounter everytime we fly. So my question is how do we relieve this congestion??
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:35 am

The only ways you can reduce congestion is either by expanding airports to have multiple runways for arrivals and departures or you reduce the number of flights either by force or by economics.

In places like NYC, you will always have issues because you cant really expand JFK/EWR/LGA and you will always have high demand for service to those places. There is also not any real good options in the suburbs and exurbs of NYC for building a DFW like airport with 7-8 runways.

If you want to travel to or from an airport in a major American city, ATC delays are simply going to be a fact of life. Even NextGen isnt going to solve that many problems. The issue is lack of available real estate.
 
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antoniemey
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:24 am

High speed rail is an option that certain portions of our society keep spending a lot of money to shoot down.
Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
 
jcwr56
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:37 am

Bring back the good old Civil Aeronautics Board to set routes, frequency and pricing.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:52 am

Easy, 748s on all domestic routes!!!!!

~signed,
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I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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garpd
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:54 am

Congestion is a symptom of success and freedom.

You'll just have to live with it. The only other option would be to limit the amount of arrivals and departures and routes.
Back to the old days of regulation. Fares will go up, jobs will be lost (en mass!).

The current situation may not be perfect, but is the best system to ensure the consumer isn't fleeced.
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LAX772LR
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:30 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 5):
The only other option would be to limit the amount of arrivals and departures and routes.
Back to the old days of regulation.

Not really old era regulation, particularly considering that there are routes/airports that still have artificial controls on everything from frequency to departure types, to gauge.

In fact, for the sake of efficiency, some additional such tweaks may have to be made.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
commavia
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:21 pm

Quoting ORDTLV2414 (Thread starter):
For anyone who has ever flown in the United States knows that our airports and skies are very congested. Not enough seats at airports,lines to take off, waiting for a gate after landing, circling airports and of course the lines that we encounter everytime we fly.

It's not really "our airports" that have the problems described above - it's largely just a few airports, in a generally specific region. Some estimates ascribe nearly half of all the nation's air delays to just the three New York airports alone - JFK, EWR and LGA. If you added in just a few more airports - maybe just PHL and ORD - you'd get to probably two thirds or more of all flight delays in the U.S. So really I think it's a bit missing the point to say that "our" airports and skies in the U.S. are "very congested" when really it's just 4-5 airports that deserve the vast majority of the attention and focus.

To your point, though - as to what we can do to improve reliability - there are really only two choices: either increase capacity, or reduce demand.

Capacity can be increased by adding runways and gates, and by modernizing our ATC system. The former is somewhat politically problematic due to NIMBYs, etc., but moreso problematic in the places in question (again - NYC, PHL and ORD) because there is just not much more room to expand. The former is certainly technically possible, but plagued by our dysfunctional political system, which in turn both enables and yet also undermines the engorged bureaucracy that is the FAA. (And, to be clear, ORD actually is making huge progress in this area with the runway reconfiguration there, and it apparently is having a meaningful positive impact.)

That takes us to demand. Airports can artificially constrain demand quite easily - it's economics 101. Raise the price, demand goes down. Higher landing fees, peak pricing or small jet penalties could all be used to incentivize airlines to fly fewer flights and/or with larger aircraft - but of course that will come at the expense of higher fares and, ultimately, likely less competition as some airlines either exit these airports altogether or at a minimum eliminate routes and flights in particular markets.

So from my perspective, those are the choices - build more runways or gates, and modernize ATC, or/else raise the cost of flying into these airports and accept the resulting higher fares.

As to the airports themselves - I, personally, think U.S. airports have improved by leaps and bounds in terms of comfort and efficiency in the last decade. To be sure, there is still plenty of work to do - there are still many airport terminals ill-equipped to handle the security, operational and financial realities of the post-9/11, 21st century world. Nonetheless, in my experience, outside of a few airports - again, mostly in the northeast - most major U.S. airport terminals have been modernized and refreshed, if not completely rebuilt.

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 2):
High speed rail is an option that certain portions of our society keep spending a lot of money to shoot down.

The amount of money spent to "shoot down" high speed rail pales in comparison to the amount of money that would have to be spent to even do high speed rail in the U.S.

The costs involved are astronomical, and large "portions of our society" - including myself - believe that it is simply not an economically viable means of intercity transportation in the U.S. It works in places like Europe and Japan because the population centers are much more dense, and/or much closer together. But in the U.S., high speed rail is never going to be competitive with air travel for any distance over hundreds miles - which is to say, most intercity routes in the U.S.

In my personal view, high speed rail might make sense in the northeast corridor between Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington - but that's it.
 
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hilram
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:35 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 2):High speed rail is an option that certain portions of our society keep spending a lot of money to shoot down.
The amount of money spent to "shoot down" high speed rail pales in comparison to the amount of money that would have to be spent to even do high speed rail in the U.S.

The Projects would be a lot less costly without legal and campaign fees batteling Big Oil and their Lackeys.

There is no reason High Speed Rail could not work well in the US. Arguably not on coast to coast routes like Los Angeles to New York, but on intra-state routes. Like LA to Bakersfield, Fresno, San Fransico etc.- this seems perfectly viable to me.

If they can make it work in Spain, for crying out loud, why not several US states?
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dtw2hyd
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:44 pm

There are three options

1) Avoid obsession with RJs.
2) Avoid obsession with Super Hubs.
3) Implement NextGen

None are viable.
All posts are just opinions.
 
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par13del
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:59 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
It's not really "our airports" that have the problems described above - it's largely just a few airports, in a generally specific region. Some estimates ascribe nearly half of all the nation's air delays to just the three New York airports alone - JFK, EWR and LGA. If you added in just a few more airports - maybe just PHL and ORD - you'd get to probably two thirds or more of all flight delays in the U.S. So really I think it's a bit missing the point to say that "our" airports and skies in the U.S. are "very congested" when really it's just 4-5 airports that deserve the vast majority of the attention and focus.

Without quoting all the sections of your post, I'll add a couple thoughts.
Based on the above, I would say the airlines are quite happy to have the bulk of their delays generated by a minority of airports used, obviously it means that those airports and their routes are the most profitable, is there any way to charge a premium for using those airports?
I agree with the points that increasing cost will drive behaviour, however, rather than the airports I'm thinking of ATC increasing their charges. The USA has a lot of airports which see "minimal" traffic, we only need to look at the merged legacies and their draw downs of hubs to get a list, WN built it business with quick turns servicing secondary airports, perhaps attempting to shift more traffic to those airports is a cheaper option? Short of re-regulating the industry which no one wants, ATC increasing their charges especially if it is rated based on where congestion is the worst will hit all carriers, and since it is a Federal body, it will influence the industry without getting airports, cities, bond holder and the host of other significant players on board, to the critics it would be re-regulation thru the back door.

Quoting hilram (Reply 8):
The Projects would be a lot less costly without legal and campaign fees batteling Big Oil and their Lackeys.
Quoting hilram (Reply 8):
If they can make it work in Spain, for crying out loud, why not several US states?

A bit simplistic, but if we take inner city connections versus coast to cost and look at the east cost for example, how much property is virgin, how much is privately versus government owned, the cost of getting those properties either thru purchase or by using eminent domain will make fee's pale in comparison. If folks buy in they will be willing to accept lower cost, not spend more money, so far, the backers of high speed rail in the USA seem to think that citizen buy in means they have a blank cheque to spend as much as possible rather than to make the product affordable.
A private project is presently underway in Florida to link Miami to Orlando with multiple trains per day, project is privately funded with support from local municipalities, let's see how that pans out in the next year or two, it may be a model for what can be done in the rest of the country.
 
commavia
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:01 pm

Quoting hilram (Reply 8):
The Projects would be a lot less costly without legal and campaign fees batteling Big Oil and their Lackeys.

  

Hardly. Costs keep skyrocketing because of legal challenges from property owners and environmentalists, raw material inflation, bureaucracy, etc.

Quoting hilram (Reply 8):
There is no reason High Speed Rail could not work well in the US. Arguably not on coast to coast routes like Los Angeles to New York, but on intra-state routes.

There is a reason. It's called economics.

High speed rail would be an astoundingly costly waste of money. And to be clear, it would be an astoundingly costly waste of money not because of the actual cost itself.

The U.S. has poured trillions into expensive infrastructure and investments that have made total economic sense because of their payoff for larger society and "bang for the buck." The problem with high speed rail is that it has horrible bang for the buck compared to alternatives. We already have an extensive intercity transportation network in the U.S. - it's called commercial aviation.

That opportunity cost must be factored in, and likely explains the divergent appraisals of high speed rail in Europe vs the U.S. In Europe, not only are cities much closer together, but air travel has never been nearly as large a part of the equation as in the U.S. - for better or worse. As such, Europe faced (and faces) a far lower opportunity cost in continuing to develop high-speed rail, whereas in the U.S. the trillions spent over the years on airports and aviation infrastructure are now, effectively, a sunk cost - bought and paid for years if not decades ago.

So at this point, going forward, accepting the sunk costs for what they are and that cannot be changed, the net cost of laying down a few more slabs of concrete (runways) and a few more terminals, and modernizing our ATC system, is - I suspect - literally orders of magnitude cheaper than it would cost to build a rail network - even only in a few regions. And, if resources were properly invested, our air transportation system - which is already, on balance - remarkable safe and efficient, could be made dramatically moreso.

Quoting hilram (Reply 8):
Like LA to Bakersfield, Fresno, San Fransico etc.- this seems perfectly viable to me.

Well it's funny mentioning the example of California - which is the place in the U.S. where high speed rail has moved along the most (largely because just about every other state has looked at the cost and payoff and said "no thanks"). And yet, in California, it's fair to say that high speed rail going absolutely nowhere - and, ironically, at exceptionally slow speed.

The estimated cost of high speed rail in California has skyrocketed and the whole endeavor has been plagued by all sorts of lawsuits and delays - not from "Big Oil and their Lackeys" by any stretch, but rather, again ironically, from environmentalists and NIMBYs worried (arguably understandably) about everything from noise to property rights to wildlife impacts.
 
commavia
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:10 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 10):
obviously it means that those airports and their routes are the most profitable, is there any way to charge a premium for using those airports?

Well, it means those airports are most popular - most in-demand - but not necessarily "most profitable." Either way, yes, that is definitely one means to incentivize a shift of traffic from one airport to another. All else being equal, if you make the CPE at the airport 10 miles from downtown 30% more than the CPE at the airport 25 miles from downtown, you'd expect some shift in demand assuming demand in that city was at least somewhat price-elastic, and assuming that the further airport had the capacity.

Quoting par13del (Reply 10):
The USA has a lot of airports which see "minimal" traffic, we only need to look at the merged legacies and their draw downs of hubs to get a list, WN built it business with quick turns servicing secondary airports, perhaps attempting to shift more traffic to those airports is a cheaper option?

Southwest built its business around quick turns and secondary airports not really to "shift more traffic" per se, but rather because those smaller airports tended to be less congested and cheaper, and thus more in line with Southwest's low-fare value proposition against the high-fare network airlines who charged a premium to get you to to the downtown airport. However, we've actually seen a radical transformation at Southwest - among many others - in the last decade on this point, as Southwest has now gotten itself into just about all the major congested, high-cost airports in the U.S. because it needed the higher fares those congested, high-cost airports commanded to pay for rising costs.

There is a practical limit to this ability to shift demand, though, by Southwest or anyone else. The example of LAX is instructive. Because of politics, bureaucracy, NIMBY pressure, etc., the grand plan for LAX 10-15 years ago was essentially to stop growing it and instead incentivize - through a variety of means - "regionalization" of air service in Southern California by pushing demand out to ONT, PMD, etc. The problem with that plan was two-fold: first, LAX itself still had (and frankly has) plenty of capacity, so there was no big congestion or delay problem making LAX horribly unattractive for airlines or passengers, and secondly, people just wanted (and want) to fly to LAX. It's as simple as that. Fast forward over a decade, and ONT is a half-empty white elephant, PMD lost its low-frequency RJs to SFO, and meanwhile LAX is still - by far - the region's dominant airport.

So it's a case-by-case basis. In some places, higher costs may be effective at shifting demand from one airport in a metro area to another. But in some other cases, the market may simply respond by paying the higher cost and staying at the closer, more convenient airport.
 
EWRandMDW
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:43 pm

Quoting hilram (Reply 8):
There is no reason High Speed Rail could not work well in the US. Arguably not on coast to coast routes like Los Angeles to New York, but on intra-state routes. Like LA to Bakersfield, Fresno, San Fransico etc.- this seems perfectly viable to me.

A form of high-speed rail already exists between Boston and DC. I do believe that Amtrak carries the majority of point-to-point intercity passengers between Boston, NYC , Newark, Philly, Baltimore, and DC.

As I see it, the problem is that since at least 1945 the US has be focussed on air and highway travel at the expense of rail. Suburbs grew to the detriment of core cities. The population got used to flying and driving. Rail travel is a viable option only in high-population areas. A lot of tracks have been torn up and the cost to reacquire the land and do the environmental studies and lay new track and build stations would be prohibitive. There's been talk about a new higher-speed rail line between NYC and DC which would parallel the NE Corridor. It would pass through NJ, PA, DE, and MD, but might not include stpos in NJ or DE (maybe MD). Why should those states allow for construction of a new line to take place on their land which results in no long-term benefit to them and which may reduce options on the existing rail line?
 
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hilram
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:50 pm

Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 13):
Why should those states allow for construction of a new line to take place on their land which results in no long-term benefit to them and which may reduce options on the existing rail line?

For the same reason that they approve construction of new highways and roads: Congestion. A New dedicated high-speed track would free up capacity on the Legacy track for local Trains and Freight Trains. AND provide high-speed services between city centres.
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Vladex
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:22 pm

Quoting ORDTLV2414 (Thread starter):

John Leahy has a solution but the Boeing crowd does not want to hear it but seriously maybe , just maybe they should cap the biggest routes to an artificial amount of say 20 flights a day total.
 
commavia
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:30 pm

Quoting Vladex (Reply 15):
John Leahy has a solution but the Boeing crowd does not want to hear it

And what solution is that?

Quoting Vladex (Reply 15):
maybe they should cap the biggest routes to an artificial amount of say 20 flights a day total.

Well re-regulation is certainly one option - allowing unelected bureaucrats to manage air transportation like a public utility, regulating all sorts of parameters including prices, schedules and, yes, frequency. However, if that is the public policy this country wants to pursue, the natural result that we will have to accept is less competition and higher fares.
 
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par13del
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:52 pm

Quoting Vladex (Reply 15):
John Leahy has a solution but the Boeing crowd does not want to hear it

Since the major legacies in the USA have been replacing their Boeing 767's and 757's on high value transcon missions with A321's with premium cabins you probably mean John Leahy needs to remove himself and his product from the market... 
Quoting Vladex (Reply 15):
just maybe they should cap the biggest routes to an artificial amount of say 20 flights a day total.

Do they do anything like that in the EU in combination with slot controls and how does it or is it working?
Anything viable could be considered as long as it takes into account the difference in the markets and its environment.
 
727LOVER
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:54 pm

Topic:
Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Solution:
Close PHL & EWR

~signed,
2/3 of this site's membership



Seriously though, why such a bottleneck @ PHL?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
flyby519
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:56 pm

Find a way for the labor groups (pilots, FAs, mechanics, gate/ramp) to own the actual aircraft and control schedules. Then wholesale the seats on board the aircraft for a particular flight to any airline that wanted to put pax in there.

The problem in the US is so much overlapping capacity. Imagine if you could run a dozen A380s per day on JFK-LAX instead of 20 flights. Larger capacity with fewer flights. That A380 could have pax from AA/DL/UA/B6/VX and anyone else that wanted to sell tickets.

Even apply this concept to smaller RJs and a situation like ORD. How much overlapping capacity is there between AA/UA RJs? Combine those into larger aircraft and let AA/UA both put their pax on the same plane.

It seems more and more that many legacy airlines only want to be ticket agencies anyways, let them do it.

[Edited 2014-12-05 07:05:55]
 
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hilram
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 11):
There is a reason. It's called economics.

High speed rail would be an astoundingly costly waste of money. And to be clear, it would be an astoundingly costly waste of money not because of the actual cost itself.

That is an incredibly narrowminded view, I think.

How come these nations are able to plan, build and operate their high-speed rail profitably:
Japan
China
Spain
France
Germany

Why not the US? Why is it preferable to add ever more lanes to the interstate? Expand airports With more and more gates?
Rail is not the solution to everything, but for moving a lot of People between city centres, over short/medium distances, it is just the right thing!
There will always be destinations where Air travel makes more sense.

Before you Write off High Speed Rail completely, just look at how it has evolved in Japan!

In Britain, the rail link between London and Manchester was upgraded to a "High Speed Lite" (=medium speed) Railway. Articulated Train sets run on speeds of 125mph. (=about 200km/h). But still, that took over 40% of the air market. Because you can get from city centre to city centre without a lot of the hassle that going by plane means.
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Polot
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Quoting Vladex (Reply 15):

I don't think John Leahy has ever argued that there should be caps. Remember he sells more than the just the A380...

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 18):

IIRC the airfield design is one of the major issues with PHL (something along the lines of basically every aircraft having to cross an active runway, but I could be wrong).

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 19):

If larger capacity but fewer flights is the solution that does not mean that there is an overlapping capacity problem, as you seem to be arguing that the airlines have no problem filling that capacity (you just think there is too much frequency). Not that your solution would solve the problem. You would just see another aircraft owner (you don't think FAs, mechanics, pilots etc won't compete with each other do you?) operate a flight at the same time but at lower costs to try and steal more customers. Its just now the direct customers are the airlines and not the passengers. You would also see airlines preferentially choose some aircraft over others for a variety of reasons (better maintained, better working relationship, better operation reliability etc) just as passengers do with airlines.

[Edited 2014-12-05 07:15:48]

[Edited 2014-12-05 07:17:28]
 
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Aquila3
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:13 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 19):
Imagine if you could run a dozen A380s per day on JFK-LAX

But then they will have to let EK do the job for them. They are the only ones that can make the 380 viable, it seems.
Sure not the US big ones, for whom even the universally accepted 77W seemed too big until now.
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roseflyer
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:20 pm

Things are getting better in the United States. ATL got another runway in 2006 and usually operates quite efficiently. ORD is much better than it was. The runway realignment so that it no longer has 6 intersecting runways is improving operations along with reduction of RJ flying.

JFK, LGA and EWR are always going to be congested. Slots are really the only way to alleviate congestion. The problem is that the airports are so close together that the airspace gets congested and runways can't always be used most efficiently. RNAV helps, but most airlines aren't at the point of doing RNAV approaches.

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 18):


Seriously though, why such a bottleneck @ PHL?
PHL is geographically the most densely packed airport in the United States. It has a river on one side and an interstate freeway on the other. Geographically it does not have enough acreage to operate efficiently. The solution would be to move an interstate freeway, but there is a protected tidal marsh where it would need to go. They are expanding where they can, but there just is not enough land where the airport was built. It has two runways that are too short to be useful for many airplanes at 5,000 and 6,500ft. It also does not help that US Airways operates a banked departure schedule which creates a congested mess on the dot at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm every night. PHL is the only large airport in the country using fuel trucks because they don't even have enough space to have in ground fueling.

If there is one city in the country that needs its airports demolished and rebuilt somewhere else, it is Philadelphia. BOS, LGA, PHL and DCA are all surrounded by water on three sides. PHL is only slightly larger than LGA or DCA and had enough room for 9,000+ ft runways. This allowed it to have enough capacity with two parallel runways so that a new airport was not built during the early jet age like IAD or JFK. Unfortunately the lack of a 2nd airport resulted in PHL getting overly cramped to handle international operations. PHL is on a river unlike BOS. BOS solved its problems by filling in Boston Harbor. PHL is locked in and it probably not going to get that much better.

[Edited 2014-12-05 07:34:18]
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flyby519
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:24 pm

Quoting Aquila3 (Reply 22):

I think you are missing the point. My idea was to essentially combine all US domestic traffic onto one fleet of aircraft and let the airlines decide how many seats on a given plane they sell. The A380 from JFK-LAX would hold pax from every airline. When you combine all the US domestic traffic it would definitely be able to support A380s on some heavily travelled routes.
 
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Aquila3
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:28 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 24):

I got your point, but I believe you missed a little of sarcasm on mine.
chi vola vale chi vale vola chi non vola è un vile
 
flyby519
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:29 pm

Quoting Aquila3 (Reply 25):

My apologies! It flew right over my head   
 
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Polot
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:31 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 24):
I think you are missing the point. My idea was to essentially combine all US domestic traffic onto one fleet of aircraft and let the airlines decide how many seats on a given plane they sell. The A380 from JFK-LAX would hold pax from every airline. When you combine all the US domestic traffic it would definitely be able to support A380s on some heavily travelled routes.

You are suggesting we just create a monopoly where one group of people (the labor groups) decides all of the US's air travel needs and kindly dole out their capacity (that they decide themselves, on routes that they decide, on schedules that they decide) to the airlines who kindly dole it out to the traveling public. Why even have the airlines, they are just acting as a middle man in that scenario anyways- why can't the labor groups directly sell the seats? Oh wait, because then they would be called an airline.

You are basically saying that the US should create a soviet era Aeroflot (just not government owned).

At least during regulation the government gave the airlines a chance to compete (on service if nothing else, which wouldn't happen in your scenario because everyone is using the same FAs- having different service standards for different airlines on same flight would be too complicated the labor groups who are in charge won't allow it), and left the decisions (on what to apply for, what capacity to offer, etc) completely up to all of them.

[Edited 2014-12-05 07:37:20]
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15263
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:32 pm

Quoting hilram (Reply 20):
How come these nations are able to plan, build and operate their high-speed rail profitably:
Japan
China
Spain
France
Germany

Each has much less land than the US (Japan, Spain, France, Germany) or a HSR system that is not national (China).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
polarexpress
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:42 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:32 pm

Quoting hilram (Reply 20):
That is an incredibly narrowminded view, I think.

How come these nations are able to plan, build and operate their high-speed rail profitably:
Japan
China
Spain
France
Germany

Why not the US? Why is it preferable to add ever more lanes to the interstate? Expand airports With more and more gates?
Rail is not the solution to everything, but for moving a lot of People between city centres, over short/medium distances, it is just the right thing!
There will always be destinations where Air travel makes more sense.

Out of curiosity, how much of the US have you seen beyond cities in the Northeast and Chicago and SF? One of the difficulties with HSR in the US is that most metro areas have very poor subway/commuter rail options. Having traveled quite a bit of Europe and Asia, it's really easy using HSR because most of the cities there have extensive, frequent connections through subway, commuter rail, trolley, etc. Each of these transport modes make it cheap and efficient to funnel traffic from both the city and suburbs into and out of the central rail station.

However, for places like Atlanta, Phoenix, metro LA, and frankly, even the the wider Bay Area - these places either have practically non-existent intracity connections, or it doesn't reach enough places. Furthermore, frequency is usually not great, so that if you were to take HSR from say, Milipitas (suburb of SF) to Pasadena (suburb of LA), you'd still have to drive quite a ways to either the HSR station or a poorly connected intracity spur. The overall travel time wouldn't be reduced much, and you'd have to rent a car at one end or both anyway.

Because of the lack of intracity connections, though US metro populations are huge, the effective catchment area is much less efficient than that in Europe or metropolitan Asia (thinking HK, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, SG here). Hence, less likely to be profitable. Outside of massive subway/commuter rail infrastructure investment, Commavia is likely right in saying the only place that makes sense for HSR in the US is the Northeast, with closely-spaced, highly populated metros that each have built-in metro systems that permit efficient funneling of traffic.
 
goboeing
Posts: 2583
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:58 pm

I'll tell you what is NOT the solution: NextGen.

This decades delayed blunder will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem that is really the least common denominator: runway arrival rates.

If an airport can only take 28 arrivals an hour when the clouds go below 2000 feet, might as well not even look at any other issues until that is fixed.

SFO, LGA, EWR, the usual suspects.
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:21 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 19):
The problem in the US is so much overlapping capacity. Imagine if you could run a dozen A380s per day on JFK-LAX instead of 20 flights. Larger capacity with fewer flights. That A380 could have pax from AA/DL/UA/B6/VX and anyone else that wanted to sell tickets.
Quoting flyby519 (Reply 24):
I think you are missing the point. My idea was to essentially combine all US domestic traffic onto one fleet of aircraft and let the airlines decide how many seats on a given plane they sell.

Right. So again, this country is certain able to move (back) to a model where air transportation is effectively a public utility regulated by the government. But the result is going to be less competition and higher prices. It's as simple as that. The proposal you've outlined above essentially amounts to allow airlines to collude on capacity and scheduling - "rather than you and me both flying 767s at 9:00 and 9:30, let's just pool our capacity and fly an A380 at 9:15," etc. If you were to move to a model where all airlines effectively just became travel agents selling seats operated by a single provider - whoever that would be (the federal government?) - this would effectively remove schedule and service as competitive differentiatiors for airlines.

Quoting hilram (Reply 20):
How come these nations are able to plan, build and operate their high-speed rail profitably:
Japan
China
Spain
France
Germany
Quoting hilram (Reply 20):
Why not the US? Why is it preferable to add ever more lanes to the interstate? Expand airports With more and more gates?

Again - different geographies, demographics and economics.

Setting aside China (more on that in a bit), all of those countries combined are less than 1/4 the size of the contiguous United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). This is relevant to intercity rail because it highlights just how close together cities in these countries are - in any one of these countries, the furthest distance between two major cities with high speed rail is only a maximum of a few hours.

As such, those societies are far, far more dense than the U.S. - the least dense of those countries, Spain, still has almost three times as many people per unit of area as the U.S. A country like Japan is ten times as dense as the U.S. This is important for intercity rail because it highlights the level of urbanization in cities that, clustered together, generate demand for such intercity transportation.

And finally, economics. This is the sunk cost issue. In all of these countries - with the possible exception of Japan - there was never anywhere near as much investment made in mass air transportation in the last century, partly because of the geographic and demographic realities above, and thus the resulting higher propensity towards rail. At this point, the sunk cost of the already-established air transportation infrastructure is a pretty high financial hurdle for high speed rail in the U.S. to overcome, unlike in some other countries. And then there's China - where the economics don't matter as much since it isn't a democracy with individual property rights, and the government can command investment and construction without regard for legal risk, environmental roadblocks, etc.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 23):
Things are getting better in the United States.

   Indeed they are.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 23):
JFK, LGA and EWR are always going to be congested. Slots are really the only way to alleviate congestion. The problem is that the airports are so close together that the airspace gets congested and runways can't always be used most efficiently. RNAV helps, but most airlines aren't at the point of doing RNAV approaches.

   Agree completely. The NYC metro area generates - by some estimates - almost half of all delays in the U.S. There are things that can be done to mitigate this somewhat, but the reality is that in a market that dense, with that much demand, and with no realistic prospect for much new capacity, delays and congestion will happen. Nonetheless, outside of NYC, air travel is - I agree - getting better with each passing year.

Quoting goboeing (Reply 30):
I'll tell you what is NOT the solution: NextGen.

This decades delayed blunder will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem that is really the least common denominator: runway arrival rates.

If an airport can only take 28 arrivals an hour when the clouds go below 2000 feet, might as well not even look at any other issues until that is fixed.

SFO, LGA, EWR, the usual suspects.

I think a modernization ATC system can be a part of the solution, but I agree it's certainly not the "silver bullet" solution.

As said - the only true ways to alleviate this problem are to (a) decrease demand and/or (b) increase capacity. Since, over the long-term, I think it's fairly inevitable that demographics and economics will lead to a net increase in demand, we're left with increasing capacity. ATC can help with increasing capacity somewhat. So can pricing and regulatory schemes to incentivize more efficient use of capacity (i.e., peak pricing, mandating aircraft size, etc.).

But ultimately, the only true "silver bullet" to keep up with demand is more runways and gates.
 
Chaostheory
Posts: 1183
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:26 pm

Quoting garpd (Reply 5):
Congestion is a symptom of success and freedom.

No.

It is a symptom of an underfunded and ill-equipped FAA.

I've flown to third-world countries that have better developed ATS infrastructure.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5843
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:47 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
The amount of money spent to "shoot down" high speed rail pales in comparison to the amount of money that would have to be spent to even do high speed rail in the U.S

Such a common-sense observation, yet so often disregarded...  
Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 32):
It is a symptom of an underfunded and ill-equipped FAA.

Nope. Not enough runways.

Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 32):

I've flown to third-world countries that have better developed ATS infrastructure.

...and they handle the minutest fraction of the traffic the US' system does, as vastly-greater cost per transaction.

Not saying the US ATC system could not benefit from some modernization, but (speaking as a regular user) they work very well, indeed.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Chaostheory
Posts: 1183
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:22 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 33):
Nope. Not enough runways.

The number of runways or runway capacity is not the issue.

Airspace congestion and management is the undying cause because of the technology and methods used for surveillance.

Have a look at the ICAO website and a read of the conference notes. Alternatively, research the FAA's plans for the next decade or so. None of them mention a need for more runways.
 
goboeing
Posts: 2583
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:28 pm

Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 34):
The number of runways or runway capacity is not the issue.

I don't think you get it.

What about the runway layout of SFO or LGA or EWR suggests that there are enough runways and that they are in an efficient configuration?

As long as 3 mile spacing on arrivals is needed, there are not enough runways.
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:35 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 23):
Things are getting better in the United States. ATL got another runway in 2006 and usually operates quite efficiently.

Yup... and here's the data: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Quoting goboeing (Reply 30):
I'll tell you what is NOT the solution: NextGen.

This decades delayed blunder will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem that is really the least common denominator: runway arrival rates.

NextGen increases arrival rates... it definitely is part of the solution.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 33):
Nope. Not enough runways.

Herb Kelleher use to say that only 50 miles of concrete was needed to solve the problem.  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
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Aquila3
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:18 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:51 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 36):
NextGen increases arrival rates... it definitely is part of the solution.

It seems so obvious to me.
The question is why the US did not introduce it yet? Are there political reasons behind? The US should be leading the world on this, as they do with other aerospace matters, or ar least used to be.
chi vola vale chi vale vola chi non vola è un vile
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:51 pm

Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 34):

The number of runways or runway capacity is not the issue.

You need to do more research.

LHR, in your own back garden is a screaming example of runway capacity mismanagement.

When an airport (runway) is scheduled for more movements than it has capacity, or on a capacity based on visual weather conditions (all NYC, LAX, ATL, etc etc), runway capacity is the primary issue. The most efficient, automated, up to date en route plan in the universe is worthless if it ends at a choke point.

Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 32):
I've flown to third-world countries that have better developed ATS infrastructure.

Name a couple and describe the analysis you did to reach the conclusion.

Quoting ORDTLV2414 (Thread starter):
For anyone who has ever flown in the United States knows that our airports and skies are very congested. Not enough seats at airports,lines to take off, waiting for a gate after landing, circling airports and of course the lines that we encounter everytime we fly. So my question is how do we relieve this congestion??

Not enough seats?
Write a letter to the specific airport authority.
Lines to take off? We need more runways and realistic scheduling. Many airports in this country have more aircraft scheduled to depart AT 5;30pm than the runway can handle in 45 minutes.
Waiting for a gate? Air carrier specific issue, usually. Is the departure on the gate delayed? Did your flight arrive early (padded flight time)?
Circling airports?
You don't circle the airport, contrary to popular belief. The holding patterns are 40 to 100 miles out, and you are probably there due to runway capacity being exceeded, especially if the capacity is based on clear weather, and that's not the weather of the day. I get to hold 9 out of 10 times going into London. It's not just the US.
The lines we encounter?
Fly during off peak times. Pay enough for tickets to pay for more customer service agents. It's somewhat like ging to a sports venue. The game starts at 5pm, and all 80,000 fans want to be there.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:11 pm

Quoting Aquila3 (Reply 37):
It seems so obvious to me.
The question is why the US did not introduce it yet? Are there political reasons behind? The US should be leading the world on this, as they do with other aerospace matters, or ar least used to be.

It is all political, unfortunately. Just for an example, one Representative has stymied the opening of a brand spanking new Terminal Control Center because it would eliminate some jobs in his district. So imagine... a brand new center ready to go with all the latest bells and whistles sitting unused! Crazy but an example of the political dysfunction.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
B777fan
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:44 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:34 pm

Quoting hilram (Reply 20):
In Britain, the rail link between London and Manchester

Mostly an Apples to Oranges comparison to US city pairs.

Take Chicago to St Louis. By US standards, other than the northeast states, we're next door neighbors but still over 50% further than London to Manchester and the Manchester area is twice the size of St Louis by population. Chicago to Detroit is about 10 miles closer, and air has the advantage in not having to go around lake Michigan.

The Minneapolis area is twice the population of the Manchester area but is also twice the distance from Chicago as from Manchester to London.

You can easily drive to Detroit or St Louis from Chicago with only a marginal penalty in time over a 125 mph train, but our road network really is driven by all the cities between that you can reach that would be prohibitive to reach with dedicated trains or air for that matter. From Chicago to the southwest, I can drive to Peoria, Bloomington, Champaign or Springfield, only one of which would likely be a stop on a Chicago to St Louis train.

I've enjoyed taking the train, high speed and regular rail around Europe, but the scale is not comparable in any way to most of the United States.

Over 90% of the Interstate systems is outside of metropolitan areas covering long distances between lots of small cities. It is in place infrastructure with real value. It is not going to be easily displaced.
 
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JetBuddy
Posts: 2702
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:44 pm

US Airports already have a lot more runways than similar sized airports around the world. The solution is to fly larger capacity aircraft, less frequently. But that's not going to happen without any sort of regulation, which I would not like.
 
NYC-air
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2000 6:59 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:46 pm

What about increasing commercial traffic at, if we take NYC as an example, Teterboro and/or Republic? Teterboro, in particular, is as close to Manhattan as JFK and EWR.

I'm not saying we need to do this today and I have no desire to make life difficult for GA and private users of those airports - they'd likely be pushed to fields further from the city. This is, however, the most code-effective option. Those airports already have tons of daily take-offs and landings + they are close to transit lines.

I'm not saying I 'want' this to happen but it really is the only option without a huge capital outlay.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:20 pm

From this side of the pond ,is it not more about the lack of the current ATC to deal with the growing demand? more investment looking forward in safe airspace and better computer software to enable better use of current facilties?
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
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dartland
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:09 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:32 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 23):
PHL is geographically the most densely packed airport in the United States.

Not true.

PHL:
2,370 acres
30mm pax/year
448k movements/year

LGA:
680 acres
24mm pax/year
336k movements/year

DCA:
733 acres
19mm pax/year
282k movements/year

Pax/Year/Acre
PHL at 13k, compared to 35k for LGA and 26k for DCA

Movements/Year/Acre
PHL at 189, compared to 494 for LGA and 385 for DCA

Note even EWR is 2,207 acres -- slightly less than PHL with more passenger traffic (albeit fewer movements).
 
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zippyjet
Posts: 5189
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:32 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:51 pm

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 1):

Couldn't have said it better if I said it myself. Also ad to the mix
  • Less regional flights= instead of 2 RJ's, go with one standard sized mainline plane
  • A cunundrum (not sure of spelling) regarding gate space. Having some hard stand deplaning/boarding might help but then you have ADA/accessibility issues.
  • The demand for congested markets is strong. Passengers may balk but they will pay premium fares to fly into such clusters as the NYC, BOS, ORD, LAX and DEN to name a few. I'm not advocating price gouging but all those $39.00 el cheapo specials just ad to the congestion.
  • We (WN/FL) do great out of BWI because we offer lower fares than the two troublesome DC area airports especially Reagan. Do the El Cheapo fares to nearby airports such as MHT, PVD like we do in the BOS area. The air space will still be congested but there's alleviation of the crowding inside the airport.
  • Regarding physical setups at our airports; we are gradually adjusting to a post 911 world of increased security. New construction and rennovations have been re-designed with efficient people moving in mind.
I'm Zippyjet & I approve this message!
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:58 pm

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 45):
Also ad to the mix
Less regional flights= instead of 2 RJ's, go with one standard sized mainline plane
A cunundrum (not sure of spelling) regarding gate space. Having some hard stand deplaning/boarding might help but then you have ADA/accessibility issues.
The demand for congested markets is strong. Passengers may balk but they will pay premium fares to fly into such clusters as the NYC, BOS, ORD, LAX and DEN to name a few. I'm not advocating price gouging but all those $39.00 el cheapo specials just ad to the congestion.
We (WN/FL) do great out of BWI because we offer lower fares than the two troublesome DC area airports especially Reagan. Do the El Cheapo fares to nearby airports such as MHT, PVD like we do in the BOS area. The air space will still be congested but there's alleviation of the crowding inside the airport.
Regarding physical setups at our airports; we are gradually adjusting to a post 911 world of increased security. New construction and rennovations have been re-designed with efficient people moving in mind.

So in other words ... re-regulation.

If the federal government is going to start mandating which aircraft can be flown by which airlines on which routes to which airports, and at what fares - we're essentially back to 1978.

And again - that is certainly a policy course that the U.S. could pursue. There are certainly plenty who would advocate it. But again - the natural and inescapable result of such a public policy would be to reduce competition and raise the price of air travel. It's that simple.

Personally, I don't think there is anywhere near enough of a "problem" to justify such a "solution," with such outcomes.

[Edited 2014-12-05 11:59:59]
 
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william
Posts: 3506
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RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:05 pm

Funny how some are pining for the old days when DC10s and L1011s flew the transcons. Do not blame the airlines, blame us the passenger. I am sure airilnes rather use less assets to get the same job done. But the first of the big three goes less than hourly on transcons and move to bigger aircraft, watch their share of high rev pax plummet. Then again, maybe not, but I do not see anyone ready to take that risk.
 
steex
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:45 am

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:10 pm

Quoting B777fan (Reply 40):
Take Chicago to St Louis. By US standards, other than the northeast states, we're next door neighbors but still over 50% further than London to Manchester and the Manchester area is twice the size of St Louis by population. Chicago to Detroit is about 10 miles closer, and air has the advantage in not having to go around lake Michigan.

The Minneapolis area is twice the population of the Manchester area but is also twice the distance from Chicago as from Manchester to London.

You might want to check your statistics or be more careful with your terminology - Manchester proper is certainly more populous than the City of St. Louis, but the St. Louis metro area is more populous than the Manchester area. Metro St. Louis has 2.9 million people. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is indeed more populous (3.8 million), but does not have twice the population of the Manchester area (2.55 million).
 
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zippyjet
Posts: 5189
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:32 pm

RE: Solutions To Air Traffic Congestion In The USA.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:40 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 46):
So in other words ... re-regulation.

If the federal government is going to start mandating which aircraft can be flown by which airlines on which routes to which airports, and at what fares - we're essentially back to 1978.

And again - that is certainly a policy course that the U.S. could pursue. There are certainly plenty who would advocate it. But again - the natural and inescapable result of such a public policy would be to reduce competition and raise the price of air travel. It's that simple.

Personally, I don't think there is anywhere near enough of a "problem" to justify such a "solution," with such outcomes.

Interesting, never thought of re-regulation/back to the future. And I'm not sure of the legal ramifications but the airlines could get together and re-structure their pricing for tickets. The problem is a pain but sadly part of flying. But, as long as the demand is there for multiple RJ flights this will be the norm. When and if RJ's become less economical for the airlines then there would be a switch back to larger planes and maybe less frequency.

Another issue though may be considered insignificant; poorly or questionable maintained airport facilities. For examples jetways that have outlived their lives, dangerous to operate, stuck etc. Recently at BWI the power went out on our piers the busiest part of the airport talk about delays, diversions and $$$. I can't vouch for other facilities but at BWI the state operates our airport for better or for worse. Many times it's the latter. One thing which may seem small is like that proverbial pebble hitting the pond which causes ripple effects. Sometimes priorities are wrong. For example; it's not in the budget to replace that 20 year old jetway that damaged an aircraft but amazingly find the money for frilly holiday decorations, fancy trashcans that have recycle bins and name changes. I'll leave things at that. The stuff for another thread but vital components not operating correctly and safely contribute to the problem of delays and congestion and diversions.

[Edited 2014-12-05 13:01:25]
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