CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON AIRPORT AND AIRSPACE CAPACITY
MIAMI As a controller at ground zero of the U.S. air traffic system the Chicago
Terminal Radar Approach Control facility in Elgin, Ill. Don Porter has a front
row seat for the marvelous, non-stop choreographed show that plays out daily.
The task is daunting: Squeeze too many airplanes onto too few runways while
ensuring the safest skies in the world.###
This week, Porter will be sharing
his perspective on how the lack of capacity at U.S. airports is contributing to
the problem of flight delays, air traffic congestion and limited airspace.
Porter will be speaking at the Institute for International Research’s Aviation
Series, which will examine strategies and technologies to maximize airspace and
The conference, at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay
today through Wednesday, will include presentations from many aviation industry
leaders. Among the topics is an update on the Federal Aviation Administration’s
plan to redraw the National Airspace System, the progress made in the
implementation and allocation of funding of the Free Flight program, an overview
of the latest navigational and surveillance technologies available, the
implications of the increase in regional jet traffic and a complete analysis of
runway and airport capacities across the country.
Porter, the safety and
technology representative at Chicago TRACON, is eager to discuss capacity, which
the National Air Traffic Controllers Association believes should be the focus of
the contentious debate on how to improve air travel.
primarily with traffic in and out of O’Hare, I can tell you the balancing act of
using limited capacity to meet the overwhelming demand of air travel is an
extremely challenging job," Porter said. "As an important part of this industry,
controllers believe the finger-pointing and blame games must be replaced by a
spirit of collaboration and cooperation. Some talk about overhauling the air
traffic control system, even suggesting the risky scheme of privatization, which
NATCA fiercely opposes. But I can assure you: Positive results are only going to
come from creating more places to put all these planes."
outline NATCA’s position that the delay problem is much like a three-legged
stool: The first leg involves capacity enhancement, such as new technology and
air traffic procedures. But it’s important to note this will bring only
fractional increases in capacity compared with new runway
The second leg is our nation’s aviation infrastructure
airports, runways, taxiways and roadways. The third leg is the one the users
rarely address, which is demand management the prudent use of the air traffic
system within the national treasure which is our