Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, August 31, 2007

Whiny-Ass Airlines

You may have read or heard stories about how the air traffic control system is congested and that it is all the fault of us evil private pilots.


The new complaints about ATC delays follow not because of the flooding of the skies with the very light jets (VLJs). Hardly any VLJs have gone into service.

There are two primary reasons and several other ones.

First off, weather. If a series of thunderstorms is going over a major hub airport, the flow of airline traffic is going to be seriously screwed.

Second is the airlines's switch to smaller regional jets, the "RJs". Before the switch to RJs, the smaller feeder flights were handled by turboprops such as this:

The turboprops operated at lower altitudes than the RJs. The RJs fly right up there with the larger airliners, so from pushing back from the departure gate to taxiing into the arrival gate, the RJs and the big boys are occupying the same airspace and pavement.

You don't see a lot of private aircraft at the big airports and one reason is that the airport authorities tack on hefty fees for parking or fueling. Fuel at LaGuardia for a turboprop is $1/gal more than at Islip, for example.

Most of the larger business jets fly at higher altitudes than the airliners do. The VLJs and the private turboprops fly at lower altitudes.

The switch to RJs has been not only at the expense of the feeder turboprops, but also at the expense of larger jets. The airlines have shifted a lot of their formerly mainline service to their feeder operations (where co-pilots earn barely enough to get off food stamps) and that has resulted in more airliners flying in the same airspace and into the same airports.

For the airlines to cry "congestion" and blame general aviation for their problems is akin to the Menendez brothers asking for mercy because they're orphans.

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