The United States was once the global leader in aviation, enabled by a forward thinking FAA.  Today, that agency is bogged in politics and red tape, resulting in decision-making processes that would result in a description of incompetence and the phrase “you’re fired” in the commercial world.

Perhaps the best example for this is US air traffic control.  Today’s air traffic control systems in the US are hopelessly outdated, relying on paper strips, ancient computers, radar, and landline communications technologies from the 1970s.  The number of air traffic controllers has risen to keep up with traffic growth, but the processes and technologies used result in more near misses than necessary and don’t take advantage of today’s new technologies.

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