We’ve got an hour of post-Thanksgiving goodness lined up for you today, including discussions of United’s new Basic Economy product and potential ATC reform and other infrastructure project coming in the year ahead.
- Las Vegas is hot. Especially in the summer. And Norwegian cannot handle that heat, choosing to suspend its Vegas flights next summer
- A late addition to the show, Minneapolis gets an award for best airport bathrooms and Stephan and Seth have some fun with that.
- Seattle-Cologne and Dublin-Miami are two new lines coming next summer, belying the common refrain we’ve heard that the market needs to shrink to support the airlines flying across the Atlantic
- Houston is a festering pit of a swamp, but Air New Zealand probably went too far featuring a post-storm flood photo of the city in its in-flight magazine
Also, a special mini-episode in this week featuring Erik Paquet from Abroaders talking about an effort to help get more folks home for the holidays. We encourage our listeners to donate to the cause or help out in any other way they can.
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Abroaders Home for the Holidays Program
Congrats to @mspairport for winning America's Best Restroom Award. #CoolLoos. https://t.co/8pb43PLLrk pic.twitter.com/5WvEuDrWZL
— Harriet Baskas (@StuckatAirport) November 22, 2016
While I am not a believer in privatizing government/public services, there are examples where this has worked in a positive fashion and keeping in the ethos of public service delivered in an efficient fashion. Specifically, take a look at how Canada re-engineered its air traffic control system, today acknowledged as the most advanced and efficient service of its kind. NAVCAN was created with a mission to modernize, manage and operate ATC on a not-for-profit, albeit private agency. It has the power to borrow for capital expenditures, and levy reasonable fees (passed directly on to users). I agree with your discussion that Congress has (a republican House) stifeled the abiltiy of the US ATC to modernize and introduce next generation technologies. Agree that a classic for-profit/shareholder corporate model would be a disaster if adopted, but a model similar to NAVCAN would seem to be the proper way to go. There are examples in the US of such public service entities: the Tennessee Valley Authority delivering rural electrification to much of Appalachia back in the 20s and 30s. Though I hold reservations that given the make up of Congress today (and next year), such a public service model would be the outcome.
I’ll concede that it might be possible. I simply do not believe it will happen in this case and also that the efforts to get there will be an epic mess. I’m also not so convinced that the total costs to airlines would go down under such a scheme, which is the parallel goal of the modernization efforts.
Moreover, it is simply not necessary to divest the operation to realize the modernization goals. If it was then maybe I’d be singing a different tune. But it is not.