FAA's Blakey blames airline delays on scheduling practices


Jaws dropped during FAA Administrator Marion Blakey’s farewell speech on September 11 (three days before she officially left her post), when she blamed airline delays on scheduling practices, not air traffic control. That’s what AOPA has been saying all alongit’s not GA clogging the system; it’s the airlines. “The airlines need to take a step back on scheduling practices that are at times out of line with reality. Passengers are growing weary of schedules that aren’t worth the electrons they’re printed on. Airline schedules have got to stop being the fodder for late night monologues,” Blakey said during her speech to an industry group in Washington, D.C. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee also took note of Blakey’s comment: “While I wish Administrator Blakey would have made these remarks in January, when they might have had some effect on the summer travel season, I guess they are better late than never.”


Marion Blakey is 100% right on!

Tell me true: You have an airline scheduling 10 flights departing between 0700 and 0705. at an airport with a capacity of, say, 100 flights an hour. Can anybody honestly tell me that 10% of the hourly capacity will be able to depart on time in a 5 minutes period? I think not.


No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong. It’s the airports’ fault for not having enough runways. Instead of asking the airlines to space out their departures a little bit, the airports need to be spending $1.28 billion to add additional runways! I’d be ecstatic to pay more taxes for an extra runway!


Maybe not 10% of an hour’s capacity in five minutes, but definitely 10% of an hour’s capacity in SIX minutes. Have you computed how long 10% of an hour is?


Marion knew all along why aircraft were delayed, she just chose to feed off passenger’s emotions to try to get nexgen up and going. After that happened, and after she got her $500,000 job (representing the company who was awarded the contract for nexgen) did she finally state one of the real reasons for delays. Airline over-scheduling… The House actually included this in their version of FAA Reform.

This announcement now puts in the record that the FAA knows about over-scheduling, and it’s up to them to fix it. Too many aircraft enroute is another bogus claim.

Question for you all to ponder. Why have delays gone up from 2001 because of too many aircraft enroute when vertical separation has been cut in HALF above Flight Level 290 since 2003? Are you telling me that there are more than twice as many aircraft enroute causing the system to bust? No way.

Three thousand controllers have retired since Marion imposed new work and pay rules. No pay raises, including cost of living increases to their pay. If they stay in 5 years after being eligible to retire, and do not receive cost of living increases, thats on average a 20 percent pay cut. The longer they stay in, the further and further they fall behind their inflation.

LA Center just got upgraded to ATC Level 12, the highest grade. NONE of the controllers got a penny, however. Sixty percent of supervisors and managers received a 6.7 percent raise. Why only 60 percent of them? Because the other 40 percent already capped out on their pay. So the controllers who work the traffic are bitter, and are working more planes for less money. It’s not worth it to them to stick around. Newly hired (B scale) trainees are making under $9.00 an hours under Marion’s new imposed rules.


agreed to some extent (and I guess Atlanta really reduced delays with their added runways). You can’t however design a perfect airport. Part of the blame is business travelers demanding more flights, so now there are CRJ’s taking everyone and their uncle. In some slot restricted airports (lga, dca and to some extent on the east coast) they should have a minimum seat airplane of 80-100 seats so their is a little more slack in the airport scheduling.

There are airports that have been doing a fine job like Denver, and Minneapolis. You can use these airports more so and avoid airports like Ohare to make it easier for you.

more par. runways at airports
bigger planes, less flights