On Tuesday President Bush signed an Executive Order mandating that modernization of the air traffic system over the United States remain a leading priority for the federal government. President Bush noted that in an age where teenagers use GPS navigation in automobiles air traffic controllers are still using the technology developed in World War II.
Given the modernization of jet aircraft, including the jumbo jets being operated by the airlines, it is incredible to believe that we can continue to operate the air traffic system on old technologies. Safety and environmental protection are key priorities, but achievements in these areas are hindered by the lack of modernization of the US air space.
President Bush called modernizing our aviation system is an "urgent challenge", one that needs to be met as soon as possible and worthy of the 21st century. This Executive Order will provide incentives for the private sector to develop and implement the NextGen Initiative using satellite based guidance technologies to provide safer, more secure, affordable and environmentally friendly use of our skies.
In addition President Bush announced proposals to relieve congestion and delays at major hubs including New York, as well as freeing up some military use airspace over the holidays to increase traffic flow and reduce delays. More TSA workers will be hired to reduce delays due to screening, as well as new runways and taxiways will be built at major airports around the country.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.