A Former FAA Administrator says "If we fail to address issues such as increased
capacity in a deliberate and focused way, we will suffocate the great engine of economic growth that civil aviation has become.
We need the best minds in America across both public and private sectors working on the task of creating a next generation
Former USDOT Secretary
Mineta said in a speech to the Washington Aero Club we cannot predict what aviations future will bring-the American
people deserve a system that will readily accommodate that new demand-seamlessly and safely. For that reason, we need to do
something more. The changes that are coming are too big, too fundamental for incremental adaptations of infrastructure. If
the United States wants to retain its global air transportation leadership-and we do-we need to modernize and transform our
air transportation system starting right now. Our economy depends on it".
General Accountability Office (GAO) report National Airspace System-Long Term Planning Needed
(GAO-02-185 December 2001) says FAA's plans "fall far short of meeting
the systems growing needs unless passenger traffic remains at current levels and bolder more controversial measures must be
considered such as building new airports". Obtain a copy at www.gao.gov or 1-202-512-6000 and check pages 23, 31 and 32.
congestion and proposed federal rationing of airport access caused by lack
of capacity is a disgrace to America's creativity and innovation. Rationing is an
admission of failure and should be used only as a last resort. It's a reflection on America's ability to solve problems
when artificial controls like slots, caps, peak hour and congestion pricing, depeaking,
banning general aviation, re-regulation are used to manage congestion.
Passengers, air traffic controllers, pilots are fed up and want things to get
better and not worse. Those living near airports and urban areas are experiencing noise, air pollution and emissions
and surface congestion and need to be relieved. Greenhouse gases are intensified by thousands of aircraft operations in the
air and on the ground that are delayed waiting to land or takeoff. Unless something's done it will get worse because U.S
and world airline passengers will double by 2025. Growth of express mail, cargo, charters, general aviation and related
aircraft operations will compound the problem.
not the problem. The problem is lack of nationwide aviation system capacity. FAA's still clings to
the policy it has held for years that all that's needed to meet growth to 2025 is to expand the 35 busiest airports
and new airports are not needed. Expanding existing congested airports with limited and costly expansion
possibilities is a problem. ACI-NA estimates U.S. airports need $85 billion in infrastructure spending
in the next few years to keep up with growth and aging facilities, even though airports have borrowed about $50 billion
in the past five years for capital projects.
FAA knows they cannot require local/state governments to construct runways,
terminals and other development even if shown on Airport Layout Plans (ALP's) they approved. FAA cannot make new
supplemental airports happen nor can they assure the nation the 35 busiest airports will be expanded.
FAA recently offered 1M to a major hub that is severely congested and has over 65% connecting/transfer passengers some
of which could be at a supplemental airport. The airline with over 60% of the business at the hub said they would not support
or approve a supplemental airport because they controlled much of the passenger business. They instead recommended what's
been happening at major hubs, build more runways.
A problem is that airlines and hub cities are supported by USDOT/FAA who say long-term 30-year demand can
be met by expanding existing large hubs. Most of these hubs have 60-70% connecting passengers with most of
the the airline operations owned by a single airline. FAA refuses to conduct studies for Wayports. FAA's
policy for years has been all that's needed to meet long-term 25 year demand is to expand the busiest large hub
airports. The result is the NY needs 15B to expand their airports, Chicago needs $5.5B, Atlanta needs $6B, Philadelphia wants
billions just to name a few of the hubs. FAA has failed in it's responsibility to prepare nationwide system
planning and looking at Atlanta is evidence of piecemeal planning. Atlanta has 70% passenger connections with
Delta Airlines owning 80% of the business. Delta's CEO opposes a 2nd site for Atlanta. Atlanta's need for additional
capacity can be reduced by relocating, stopping or reducing connecting activity as was done at other large hubs. Pittsburgh
and St. Louis were major large hubs for USAir and American and connecting operations were stopped. USAir appears
to have gone to Philadelphia and American to Chicago O'Hare. Delta stopped connecting operations at Dallas-Ft.
Worth and appears to have moved them to Salt Lake City and other hubs. Connecting operations at Cincinnati have
been almost eliminated. Atlanta will be impacted with noise and air pollution trying to accommodate millions of
more connecting passengers who rarely leave the airport and have little impact on the local economy. Also international
passengers can be given non-stop flights to their destinations rather than connecting though Atlanta. For example, Orlando
International Airport is the largest tourist destination in America and the 3rd busiest origin/destination airport (O&D)
in the USA with more O&D that Atlanta. What international passenger wants to connect if it can be avoided. The page
on the left column titled FAA illustrates how FAA originally supported Wayports. A way to force
excessive connections out of large hubs is to place a cap on peak hour aircraft operations and force relocation to underutilized
Contined expansion of the 35 busiest hubs to meet long-term demands
as FAA proposes is incremental adaptations of infrastructure which Secretary Mineta says should not
America needs a solution to
the nationwide problem of delays and congestion that are worse today than when Wayports was introduced years ago. FAA
came up with a solution in a study "CHALLENGE 2010" favorable to Wayports which was never
distributed or sent to Congress as directed. Copies are available upon request.