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US Airport Hell: Is It Really That Bad?
A two-part post about airport congestion. The UK half of the story.
So yesterday, we had a bit of a sky-is-falling attitude after reading a big story about the horrific state of New York-area airports. But as it turns out, things are actually getting better for flyers--as long as they skip LGA, JFK and EWR. According to a new USA Today report, dozens of airports outside New York have actually had fewer delays this year than last.
Hard to believe, right? Here's how it's possible:
In New York, there are too many scheduled flights and hemmed-in airports that can't expand. But at other major airports, new runways, incremental improvements in air-traffic procedures and airlines' moves to improve efficiency have begun to make a measurable difference for travelers.
For example, Atlanta's opened a new runway that's responsible for a 40% drop in delays. Boston Logan had similar success with a new landing strip. Competition has also freed up airspace: As carriers have cut flights to San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington Dulles, delays have dissipated.
This isn't to say all is well; the industry still has a lot of work to do. But as the carriers and regulators work out what's to be done for our broken system, it's important to realize that some parts don't yet need fixing.
[Photo, ironically, of YYZ: News46]