Modernizing the Aviation System

Finally the future is coming to fruition. After years of being teased with the then far-fetched idea that unmanned drones will share the same airspace as airliners and cargo planes, our dreams (or fears) are finally coming true. President Obama has signed a bill stating that by Sept. 30, 2015, the FAA must begin permitting these drones to fly while under the control of remote operators on the ground. Now it’s just a matter of time for us to see if these drones grow a mind of their own and start a rebellion against mankind. Another more controversial law attached to this modernization bill is the switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology. $11 billion will be alloted to the FAA for the new system and the administration has until June 2015 to develop new arrival procedures at the nation’s 35 busiest airports. The switch is expected to improve air traffic efficiency and safety, reduce fuel burn and pollution, and bring down costs for consumers of all sorts. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association sees benefits from their side of the fence and explains that “the new technology will help reduce delays, give controllers better tools with which to perform their jobs even more efficiently and provide a platform for further technological and safety enhancements”.