The biggest problem with systems management is often it is paramount to a massive game of whack-a-mole. Sure, you can design a system that works almost seamlessly. But you usually only know there is a problem once it is too late to avoid it. The travel industry is facing that reality as thousands of passengers are stranded. After a system failure with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded flights across the country, the U.S. Travel Association calls for an overhaul of air travel infrastructure.
U.S. Travel Association calls upgrade a “desperate need”
After nearly ten-thousand flights were affected by the failure of the Notice to Air Missions system (NOTAM), the President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Geoff Freeman, issued a statement.
“Today’s FAA catastrophic system failure is a clear sign that America’s transportation network desperately needs significant upgrades,” he said. “Americans deserve an end-to-end travel experience that is seamless and secure.” Freeman continued, “And our nation’s economy depends on a best-in-class air travel system. We call on federal policymakers to modernize our vital air travel infrastructure to ensure our systems are able to meet demand safely and efficiently.”
While the FAA has slowly begun resuming flights following the outage earlier this week, the industry still faces mountains of criticism. The inability to fully recover from a pandemic that decimated the workforce and the constant holiday struggles have caused backlash from passengers to the Senate. Following Southwest Airlines’ cancellation of over 16,000 flights between Christmas and New Year, Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington reveals the Commerce Committee is speaking with Southwest CEO Bob Jordan and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about protecting passengers and regulating airline operations.
What is NOTAM, and why the chaos?
Safety is number one in the travel industry. That is the reason for the importance of the Notice to Air Missions system. The system is built to notify personnel of important information regarding facility outages, dangers, and hazards that can impact flights. Without it, planes could quickly fly into airports under dangerous conditions like weather or maintenance issues that could cause crashes. Think of it as brake lights on a car, warning you of changes in the traffic patterns, without which could cause massive pileups. As inconvenient as the cancelations were for thousands of passengers, they would fail compared to the devastation that safety failures could cause.