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Air traffic control is not broken

Regarding James C. May's commentary "Our air traffic control system is broken" (Aug. 21): Mr. May is comparing apples to oranges and spreading half-truths about the condition of the Air Traffic Control System. The ATCS, which was designed to accommodate the airline industry, needs upgrading improvements, but it is not broken. The only "big wigs" whom airline passengers subsidize are the airline executives who fail to keep their companies profitable and who reap big bonuses when they demand concessions from employees.

General aviation is not the problem. General aviation does not cause airline delays. Airlines cause their own delays by scheduling too many flights per hour into hub airports with too little runway capacity. General aviation corporations pay a federal excise tax of 24 cents per gallon of fuel; the airlines pay 4 cents per gallon. That's equitable? General aviation may have many more aircraft than the airlines, but corporations fly only several trips a week. Corporate flights can go to many destinations not served by airlines, and they fly on the company schedule, not someone else's schedule. They do it more efficiently and require a lot less travel time. That is the purpose of operating general aviation aircraft.

I hope our elected officials will see through the Air Transport Association of America's fog and make the right decisions.

Thomas Sparr | St. Peters

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