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The thought process is amazing to me.
A case in point:
The other night when I was watching the news there was a feature on the increasing number of driverless cars.
And it got me thinking...how can we have driverless cars and still have collisions and near-misses on airport runways?
It just happened last week at San Diego International Airport when a Southwest Jet had to make room for a private Cessna plane. It could have been a catastrophe since both were just following orders and using the coordinates they were told. It wasn’t, thank goodness. But the southwest pilot had to do some fancy maneuvering in order to avoid a disaster.
Granted, airplane technology and the ability to land a flight is sophisticated and complex. But so are automobiles and we seem to have conquered the driving aspect, although driverless cars are not up to par yet.
It made me think twice about what United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said.
I thought it was just human nature and natural defenses coming through. Earlier this summer, when the numerous delays happened, Kirby defended his airline by saying the Federal Aviation Administration was also at fault for not having enough air traffic controllers.
Maybe he’s right.
Landing the numerous plains in the air and navigating the runway system is a difficult job as it is. Not having enough people to do their jobs makes it even more stressful. It’s one thing to have to double up on work. It’s another thing altogether to do so when lies are at risk every five minutes.
The airlines recently switched over to 5G technology. It’s good to see them get with the times and update their equipment. But with the FAA up for reallocation next month, perhaps is time to invest in the most important thing of all.
I hope we aren’t lulled into a false sense of security because of the near-miss in San Diego. A potential disaster was averted.
I hope it doesn’t take an actual tragedy to entice the powers-that-be and decision-makers to do the right thing.
Rich Thomaselli has written for TravelPulse since 2014 and has been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. His work has...
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