Thursday, June 26, 2008
And I Helped
Having wasted an hour trying to find the original “Shake ‘n Bake” commercial on YouTube, I guess I’ll just have to do without the obscure cultural reference and move on.
The FAA Follies has another update on ERAM that you might want to check out. I get quoted in the post and then the current details follow. As I mentioned earlier, the guys at The FAA Follies are still working at the FAA so they have much better information sources than I.
Having said that, I’d like to call your attention to another factor not mentioned in their blog. Air traffic control is a young man’s game. Once you hit 40, it’s all downhill. I could make several guesses on why this is, but for now, I’ll just ask you to trust me. As you get older (and slower) you depend upon your familiarity with the equipment and your experience to keep up with the younger controllers. If the FAA changes the equipment controllers use, it slows everybody down. The younger controllers adapt faster. The older controllers are lucky if they adapt at all.
ERAM is going to drive some older controllers into retirement. It’s a fact of life in air traffic control. Anytime a new, major change comes along, it drives a few controllers into retirement. If I hadn’t already decided to retire, I’m sure URET would have driven me out. Obviously, the FAA can’t avoid upgrading the ATC system forever. We have to move forward. But it’s hard to imagine a worse time to install ERAM.
June 26, 2008