Well thanks for nothing LA Times. You’ve done it again! There’s nothing I like better than to open my morning paper and see yesterday’s headline in big boldface print! Come on, the Dodger takeover by MLB story broke early Wednesday afternoon and had been rumored all morning. The news was all over the airwaves and internet in a matter of minutes and by four pm it was already old news, but we got to hear it all again on the 4, 5 and 6 o’clock news, and again later at 8, 9, 10 and 11o’clock news! Then we get to ‘read all about it’ in this morning’s Times which seemed like a gigantic waste of time when I’d already heard all about it.
Now I’m not saying that the Dodger story isn’t newsworthy, there’s no doubt that it is, I’m just saying that by this morning it was no longer headline news. Front page news yes, headline news no. If the Times really wanted to run the Dodger headline so badly they should have put out a special edition yesterday afternoon instead of waiting nearly a whole day. I’m just sayin’.
What really caught my eye this morning was the lack of a newstory or update on the Air Traffic Control situation or the FAA to be found in the 18 page first section, even though
its a situation that affects all of us who fly. No, that story was relegated to page 2 of the LAT EXTRA section. And a very interesting story it was. Seems the FAA has finally taken some action and fired two of nine controllers currently under investigation, one for sleeping on the job and the other for questionable guidance of an airliner over Florida. Well that ought to make the skies a whole lot safer! Not! Firing two controllersd does nothing to alleviate the ongoing controller problem.
The FAA needs to step up efforts to recruit more quality personnel to train as air traffic controllers and increase the number of controllers by at least 30% or more, thus ensuring that controllers have adequate time off between shifts. They should also raise controllers pay to that of a co-pilot or flight engineer. They shoulder a tremendous amount of responibility and deserve to be paid accordingly.
In another decision resulting from the questionable guidance of the plane carying Mrs. Obama, the FAA has decided that from now on aircraft carrying the first lady or vice president will no longer be handled by a regular controller, but by an air traffic supervisor as is the case with all presidential flights. That ought to make take offs and landings a whole lot safer for Mrs. Obama and Joe Biden, but what about us? Why don’t we get specialized treatment? Don’t we deserve to be safer too? Maybe it’s time that every air traffic controller be as well trained as air traffic supervisors. As passengers I think we deserve that. Don’t you?
Just a thought…