Here’s a little thought experiment.
It’s 3AM. You’re working a midnight shift. Your teenage children are in your house. They call you and say, We think somebody is trying to break into the house downstairs. You tell them to hang up and call 911. You leave work and start driving home, which is 30 long minutes away.
When they call 911, somebody’s going to answer. Do you want the 911 dispatcher to be in an outsourced, offsite phone center in either Dublin or Dubai, or do you want the 911 dispatcher to be downtown in your city, intimately familiar with the various neighborhoods?
Should we outsource 911 functions to the lowest bidder? Are we willing to let an IBM voice recognition computer, which can understand 99.1% of human voices, handle the 911 calls in the name of efficiency?
Are there some safety related areas where being familiar with the local area matters, and where the robust provision of essential service is slightly more important than the nth degree cost-efficiency of that service?
My example may be more emotional rather than cognitive, but I suggest that if you want the 911 dispatcher answering your children’s calls to be located downtown, then you probably want the Tower Controller and the Approach Controller working the airplane they’re flying on to be located at the airport.