Tag: Douglas Decker

Myrtle Beach International Airport

The High Risk of Privatizing the US Air Traffic Control System

Mr. Douglas A. Decker, P.E. presented a “White Paper” highlighting the high risks of privatizing the FAA air traffic control system, both to citizens of South Carolina and the nation. The presentation was made before the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission last week.

The Aeronautics Commission meeting was held in conjunction with the South Carolina Aviation Associations Annual Meeting.

Decker, reviewed the Air Traffic Control Legislation H.R. 2997 that is pending in the US House of Representatives that would turn over management of the Nation’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) system and related services to a federally chartered, not-for–profit, non-government corporation, private monopoly controlled by the airlines. Presently the FAA operates the ATC system. 

Decker presented the reasons he believes such a change is a very bad idea.  He pointed out how this would affect tens of thousands of communities like ours around the country who depend on our local airports. These airports provide critical services such as medical care, law enforcement, and disaster relief.

Decker and COL. John W. McDonald (Ret) collaborated in the preparation of the  “White Paper”, which details the many risks involved in transforming the safest and most complex aviation system in the world to a private corporation.

National Security

Decker pointed out that the United States aviation assets remain the greatest terrorism target in the world. The FAA and DOD collaborate 24/7 to protect our aerial borders and homeland security and work seamlessly and share information openly.

The DOD Policy Board raises serious concerns that privatization would jeopardize the “command and control” between DOD and FAA. What if one of these private corporation employees inserts malicious software into the ATC system? Will it shut down the US airspace indefinitely? When it comes to securing the country against a multitude of threats, federal agencies and organizations have proved competent and capable said Decker.

Do we really want a private company managing our national security assets?

Illuminating the Light Bulb Ban

Maybe you’ve heard that the federal government has outlawed the incandescent light bulb effective Jan.1, 2012. Well, that’s not quite correct. Here’s what’s really happening: A planned phase-out of today’s general service 40W, 60W, 75W, and 100W incandescent bulbs.

The funding to enforce these standards has been blocked in the giant 1,200-page omnibus-spending bill that was recently signed into law by president Obama. This is the result of uninformed propaganda set forth by talk radio pundits and the new ‘I hate government’ movement.

But don’t plan that the old bulb will be manufactured any time soon. The DOE rules go into effect in 2012 and lighting companies have already phased out the manufacturing capabilities of their inefficient light bulbs.

The law was passed in 2007 as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) a sweeping, 300-plus-page energy bill passed by the 110th Congress—effectively bans the 100-watt incandescent bulb. In addition new efficiency standards were established for appliances, residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Light bulb efficiency was only one part of the law.