Discussions about removing government management of the U.S. air-traffic control system are the most serious in two decades, prompted by budget cuts and uncertain funding for converting to satellite navigation.
U.S. aviation regulators don’t have enough investigators to examine close calls in the skies, which have increased more than 50 percent since 2009, according to a report by the Transportation Department’s Inspector General.
Customs inspectors trimmed working hours at the nation’s second-busiest container port and lines more than doubled at some of the largest airports as U.S. spending cuts began slowing transportation links.
More than 100 U.S. airport towers and radar rooms have so few flights that they should be shut down late at night under the government’s own guidelines, a move that would save taxpayers $10 million a year.
Flights to and from New York City- area airports are experiencing delays of almost two hours today because of weather, maintenance and the automatic U.S. budget cuts that furloughed air-traffic controllers.
Moments before a single-engine aircraft and a helicopter collided over the Hudson River near Manhattan in 2009, an air-traffic controller who should have been advising the plane’s pilot was on the phone, joking with an airport worker about a dead cat.