FAA Operates Safest Air-Traffic Control System Worldwide: Letters
October 6, 2017
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  • Nation’s air-traffic control best in the world

    I read with both interest and disappointment the Sentinel’s opinion on the privatization of the air-traffic control system in the United States (“Modernize air traffic control,” Sept. 30). As a general aviation pilot and active participant in the business of aviation in this country for 48 years, I think the Sentinel’s position is ill-informed and misses much of the reality of the situation.

    The editorial painted an incomplete picture, leaving the reader to think the FAA is working in the age of typewriters and transistor radios. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration operates the safest and most-reliable air-traffic control system in the world with a near-perfect safety record. There’s a specific FAA mandate that affects all of aviation as of Jan. 1, 2020, upgrading all air-traffic control from a ground-based radar system to a satellite-based tracking system, called ADS-B.

    Many operators have already complied and most of the rest of the fleet will be grounded in 2020 if specific requirements are not met.

    The system is not perfect, and I am not usually an advocate of more government control, but the FAA is doing a remarkable job. Furthermore, asking the airlines to have responsibility of control of U.S. airspace is like asking Colonel Sanders to babysit your pet chicken.

    Bradford Fuller Maitland