WSJ: President Obama should prioiritize NextGen

The Wall Street Journal’s business travel columnist, Scott McCartney, wants Mr. Obama to take NextGen seriously. (Column here – from Rocky Mountain News; WSJ is subscriber-only)

Dear Mr. Next President, Your “To Do” list is obviously quite long, what with war, recession and other problems awaiting attention. But there’s one problem vital to the nation’s well-being that can be improved relatively quickly and comparatively cheaply.

Fix the nation’s air-traffic-control system.

It doesn’t have to take decades. You can make a lot of progress now, when air-traffic congestion is in a lull, and boost capacity before the next presidential election in 2012. Millions of Americans who travel by air would appreciate the help.

You’ve been flying around on a chartered plane for a long time, but had you been flying commercial flights, you’d know what most regular travelers know: Airline travel is a mess. Travelers are unhappy with airlines. Airlines are unhappy with the government.

McCartney goes on to argue for the privatization (or at least the separation) of the FAA’s controller operations from its oversight activities. From where we sit, that seems a bit of a long shot against the backdrop of a Democratically-controlled Congress and White House.

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