Friday, November 07, 2008
For those of you curious as to what my desk at work looks like...well, now you know. Actually, I rotate between three different desks, but they're all similar in appearance. This particular one has mostly "Far East" flights assigned to it...Japan, Hong Kong, etc. but there are also a couple of Hawaii flights on the desk also.
Interesting trivia fact: from an ATC perspective, there is a facility in Oakland that handles a lot of the Pacific's airspace. There are a total of 20 US air route traffic control centers in all. Oakland Center is just unusual in the volume of airspace it controls: nineteen million square miles, or nearly 10 percent of the Earth's surface.
I am not a controller, but I do work with ATC on a daily basis, and I hope that the Obama administration can modernize our ATC system, which I think it is long overdue for (and I'm far from the only one who feels this.) I also hope that they can revisit the labor contract imposed by the Bush administration on air traffic controllers, as I feel it was not a very fair process. Yes, it was legal to do it the way the Bush administration did, but it's also led to a skyrocketing level of early retirements among the controller ranks. For a good article on that issue click here. For another interesting read on some good ideas for the Obama administration to pursue in terms of aviation, check out this article.