Friday, September 17, 2004


BUDGET -- THE NOT-SO-FRIENDLY SKIES: AP reports that the Bush
administration wants to slash the Federal Aviation Administration's "budget
( for
buying new air traffic control equipment at a time when more planes are
in the air." According to air traffic controllers, backup equipment is
desperately needed to avoid problems such as the shutdown of a radio
system at Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday which "left
controllers unable to talk to pilots and caused a ripple effect of delays across
the country." (In that case, "the loss of voice contact with pilots
caused at least five incidents where planes flew dangerously close to each
other and delayed or canceled hundreds of flights.") Instead of fixing
the problem, President Bush wants to slice next year's FAA budget for
equipment by 12.6 percent, from $2.862 billion to $2.5 billion.