Monday Insight – February 27, 2023

Two Issues For This Week

FAA Front And Center

On our latest Touch & Go newsletter, we outlined the recent safety events that have been encountered at airports across the USA.

The comeback – accurately – is that flying is safe. Another accurate observation is that in the events noted, there was some “back up” to prevent a disaster. But when that backup is a controller yelling through the radio for an airline stop its takeoff roll, that raises red flags.

This brings up the point we made on the T&G: the FAA must be taken out of the hands of politicians. The politicians who today actually make the selection of the Administrator based on criteria other than the in-depth expertise needed for the future.

Regardless, politicians are not qualified to do so.

That is the real safety issue facing the FAA.

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Advanced Air Mobility – Beyond The Excitement

A lot of the thinking behind some AAM concepts are missing the total economic impact.

A transportation system that can bring JFK/LGA/EWR ten minutes away from Manhattan is more than just reducing a few taxicabs on the Van Wyck or Grand Central.

It’s a system that could completely regenerate the value and importance of core cities as commercial centers. Just short of Scotty beaming Captain Kirk up from Termina One at JFK.

Time To Answer Hard Questions. But that is conceptual, and up to now has glossed over a whole range of huge barriers to be knocked down.

The location and distribution of airsites.

A very well-developed CFR program that addresses the new dangers of electric propulsion. Fire departments in the region will need new training and new equipment and new procedures. Indeed, lithium-ion fires from cheaply-made Chinese junk electrical bicycles are already an issue in major cities.

Another is the major facility changes at airports. LaGuardia was just completely rebuilt. The question is whether the planning accommodated the concept of AAM. In fairness, probably not, as the plans for the new facility were probably in stone a whole lot earlier. If these AAM aircraft need to be operated at some distant hardstand, the entire reason for their existence – time saving – is out the door.

Reliable & Socially-Responsible Battery Supply. Finally, it’s that battery thing. As yet, there are not secure, socially-acceptable, environmentally-safe programs in place to assure power for all these expected aircraft.

Much of the minerals going into batteries are still coming from near-slave mines, many owned by the criminals running China. A lot of the battery manufacture is also controlled by the CCP – an organization engaging in genocide as we speak and is responsible for the global Covid pandemic. The shock is that even Ford Motor Company is partnering with a Chinese company (which means partnership with an entity related to the human crimes committed by the CCP) – there are, apparently, not global alternatives.

Point: Time to put less time into sunshine news stories, and more into hard answers.

And, if the goal is to start major AAM operations in the next 24 months, time is of the essence.

Answers, please.