Regarding David Hughes’ articles “N.Y.’s Delay Donnybrook” and “ATA
(AW&ST July 30, pp. 40 and 43), airlines claim ("Our customers tell us...") they are
giving passengers what they want. But the Air Transport Association and industry
fail to disclose the choices, or even acknowledge the outcome.
In a saturated en-route and terminal air traffic control
service on smaller-capacity, higher-unit-cost aircraft (derivatives of those business
jets that ATA slams) lengthens delays and widens on-time variability.
This drives even greater block-time
padding; increases fuel burn, CO2 emissions
and operating costs; and decreases passenger comfort. Is this what customers want?
The alternatives that are not offered include larger,
lower-unit-cost aircraft including
large turboprops capable of operating in parallel enroute aircpace; airport capacity
changes that would mitigate delays and reduce block times; and actively managing
the arrivals flow sequence as Delta has done for more than a year in Atlanta.
Robert W. Mann, Jr.
R.W. Mann & Company, Inc.
Port Washington, N.Y.