A Plug for NextGen, the Advanced Air Traffic Control System

By November 25, 2009Economy, Infrastructure

Nineteen aviation, business and labor groups, the National Association of Manufacturers included, sent a joint letter to House Transportation Committee Chairman Oberstar and Ranking Member Mica urging support for modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system. The letter takes note of both the House Democratic leadership’s plans for a “jobs” bill and President Obama’s Dec. 3 White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth.

Competitiveness Under Threat
Currently, the aerospace industry provides a significant positive contribution to our balance of trade. However, the U.S. competitive position is being challenged by other countries like the European Union, Australia and Canada, which are outpacing us in implementing NextGen. Other countries like China and India will look to either the U.S. or Europe for leadership as they develop their air traffic control system. If the U.S. does not demonstrate leadership in deploying these technologies, opportunities for U.S. manufacturers and workers will be lost.

Economic and Employment Impact
Accelerated NextGen funding will drive the nation’s economic recovery and stimulate job growth across all sectors. The Joint Economic Committee has estimated that airline delays and congestion cost $40 billion in lost productivity and time for passengers and our economy. Solving the congestion and delay problems through more direct flights and increased efficiencies will increase productivity across the nation and put a serious dent in that $40 billion of lost productivity.

NextGen deployment will employ thousands of engineers, software developers and other high-tech workers to support a transition from a ground based radar infrastructure system to a satellite based infrastructure. In addition, pilots and other aviation jobs such as maintenance and installation jobs will benefit. A viable aviation sector enhances economic activity in a wide number of industries outside aviation including, among many others, travel and tourism and industries that rely on just-in-time global inventories and shipping capability.

The Air Transport Association has posted the full letter online.

The NAM has a summary sheet on NextGen here.

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  • “We Have Now Removed The Human Factor From Surgeries!”, boasts Surgeon General Stabbitt
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday, November 19, 2009
    Contact: Dr. Jim Peters, Media Relations and Eastern Terminal Services- 718-555-5555

    Continuing the American trend of throwing un-had money at non-functional objects, Surgeon General J. Randall Stabbitt in collaboration with AMA and 35 state education boards issued a joint statement today lauding the implementation of “NextScalpel”. The “NextScalpel” system enables health-care facilities to maximize profits by busting unions, dramatically reducing staff head-count, and conducting even the most intricate of medical procedures solely by scalpel-wielding robotic arms up-linked to Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite transponders. Journalistically-independent bastion New York Times, while vowing to continue to accept medical advertising revenue, has run a Science Times feature this week in support of NextScalpel entitled “A Surgical Upgrade To End Costly Recovery Time”.

    Though admittedly not including surgeons in the planning of NextScalpel, Stabbitt winks and gives his OK, saying, “We checked it out. It’s safe. My future bosses… – I mean, the contractors selling the equipment – assured me so”. These manufacturers, located in 35 different states, along with hospitals nationwide, immediately celebrated with sheetcake and Kool-Aid. In a bizarre numerological coincidence, 35 United States Senators led by New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have now fast-tracked Senate Bill “S. 3535”, requisitioning US$35 Billion Dollars for the “surgeon-free” NextScalpel system and its related “WAAS” (What An Awful Surgery) and “RNAV” (Robotic Nodes Attack Value) technologies. Said Gillibrand, “Hospitals are broke and can’t afford to pay the US$4,000 per surgical table for this technology. So we are going to pass the cost on to the American people instead. And anyway, they’re used to bail-outs and stimuli by now”.

    Integral to NextScalpel (dubbed “NextGash” by some critics) is the ability of hospitals to now line up surgical patients 22-across in the average-sized O.R., whereas patients used to be attended-to by medical professional human-beings one-at-a-time. Said Stabbitt, “Our research and studies show that dense-packing patients will generate more revenue for hospitals, save on gauze and electricity, and reduce the total running-time of surgery an average of 3 minutes per patient. These Gomers deserve efficiency and shouldn’t be forced to pay for safety. Why do we need doctors and nurses cluttering-up the O.R.? You’re probably the same sissies who want to keep that cancer screening age at 40 instead of 50. Besides, surgeons will be available by cell phone as a back-up when the satellites go dark. And why pay doctors when you can pay publicists and androids less? It’s a no-brainer. It’s a green-light”. In an unrelated story Mt. Sinai Hospital has issued a statement announcing that their 1-page patient release form has now been expanded to 35 pages.

    Particularly affected by NextScalpel will be those in the northeast, as a result of Stabbitt’s “NY/NJ/PHL O.R. Redesign”. Parking spill-over due to increased patient-load will ‘require’ the federal government to take residential properties of homeowners by eminent domain. Said Stabbitt, “It’s their fault anyway. They’re the ones using the O.R.’s”. When pointed-out to Stabbitt that the average household with satellite TV loses signal a few times per night – that he is espousing technology requiring graduate education to understand when he himself never finished college – and that the O.R. Redesign principally victimizes communities located at least 30 miles away from O.R.’s – Stabbitt grumbled, “To Hell with them. It’s low-hanging fruit. Safety was never compromised”. For more:
    http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/nextgen/
    http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/nas_redesign/regional_guidance/eastern_reg/nynjphl_redesign/
    http://www.randybabbitt.net
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