The days of 'fun flying' are long gone: How U.S. air travel became a nightmare

Jan. 25, 2023
The FAA has been working to implement what is known as the NextGen system to modernize the country's air traffic control system, Rob Wile reports for NBC News.

CHICAGO - It came off as a rare moment of candor for the airline industry on Wednesday, when United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told analysts and reporters that after a year of constant disruptions, including canceled and delayed flights, lost luggage and worse, passengers could expect more of that in 2023, Rob Wile reports for NBC NewsContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

25 January 2023 - "The system simply can’t handle the volume today, much less the anticipated growth," Kirby said. “There are a number of airlines who cannot fly their schedules. The customers are paying the price.”

In Wile's piece for NBC News, the writer notes that air travel headaches have been exacerbated by a trio of factors. The first two are staffing shortages alongside aging technology. The third is the political will do do anything about it.

"There’s a great deal of work needed to reduce the backlog of sustainment work, upgrades and replacement of buildings and equipment needed to operate our nation’s airspace safely," FAA Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims said last April.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian says that modernization technology exists but federal funding is needed to move things along and congress holds the purse strings.

"I lay this on the fact that we are not giving them the resources, the funding, the staffing, the tools, the technology they need to modernize the technology system," Bastian says. "Hopefully, this will be the call to our political leaders in Washington that we need to do better."

Related: FAA has struggled to modernize computer, air traffic operations

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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