News and notes from around the interweb:
- How does United’s new illy coffee taste?
- The strangest things you can do in an airport
- 2016 air travel predictions by the founder of Expert Flyer
- New concessions at DFW airport
- 5 Jet Airways flight attendants were suspended for allowing a Bollywood artist to sing over the PA system on a chartered flight.
- Delta lies about air traffic control.
Delta’s indefatigable Steve Dickson penned an op-ed for USA Today, based on this piece of work, to which both Nav Canada and I responded, since it was so false to fact. Here are two gems from that report, both stated as fact in the op-ed.
First, by egregious misinterpretation of routinely published date, Dickson claimed that over its history Nav Canada’s ATC fee levels have increased by 59%. In fact, from 1999 when those fees went into effect through 2014, the fee level has gone down by more than 30% compared with Canadian inflation. Second, Dickson cited a local aviation fuel tax increase by the provincial government of Ontario, a cost burden that corporatization of ATC did not prevent. Well, duh! State governments here are also allowed to impose fuel taxes on aviation, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with the cost of ATC.
There are similar howlers in the 10-page “study.” For example, on p. 6 it appears to blame the phenomenon of Canadian passengers crossing the border to depart from U.S. airports like Bellingham, WA on high Canadian ATC costs. Wrong! The problem stems from higher airport costs, due to (a) the high lease payments Canadian airports must make to their federal government, and (b) the much higher PFC levels in Canada. Neither has anything to do with Nav Canada or ATC. And on p. 9 it cites the report of the U.K. Airport Commission about reduced air service between the North of England and London. But that report had nothing to do with the U.K.’s ATC corporation (NATS); it was about the lack of runway capacity at Heathrow and Gatwick, which is entirely outside the control of NATS.
This sort of deliberate misrepresentation is a sign of desperation. If the facts don’t support the case you desire to make, apparently Delta thinks it’s OK to make up its own story.
Improvements in air traffic control would relieve congestion, but air traffic congestion is good for Delta in New York where it controls so many slot. And they’ve bet heavily on old aircraft, which would need new technology investments to work with air traffic control upgrades.