- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 11, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The recent, massive FAA computer failure that resulted in travel delays detailed in your article “Flights delayed by FAA glitch” (Nation, Aug. 27) once again highlight the critical need to pass comprehensive legislation to modernize our air-traffic-control system.

This so-called glitch delayed thousands of air travelers and unfortunately illustrated once again the woeful state of our outdated air-traffic-control system. In the same sense that a single downed power line should not take out the country´s electrical grid, the flying public should not be forced to endure a similar scenario in the air as one malfunctioning computer grounds hundreds of flights across the country.

Fortunately, Congress already has made great strides in resolving this issue, and both the House of Representatives and Senate committees on commerce and finance have passed bills that would provide financing for FAA reauthorization.

The bills would guarantee long-term funding for modernization efforts while providing critically needed funding for modernization and ensuring funds for essential airport improvements.

Congress must finish the job before the current financing expires on Sept. 30, or we will be forced to go back to the drawing board with a new president and Congress.

It is time for the Senate to move this bill forward and secure a safe and reliable air-traffic-control system for decades to come.

HENRY OGRODZINSKI

President and CEO

National Association of State Aviation Officials

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

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