How do we decide what risks to ignore, and what risks to respond to?
How do we decide whether to ignore (or respond to) the risk of remoting approach controls, contracting towers, and virtualizing towers? From Wikipedia:
The precautionary principle states that if a policy (or action) has a suspected risk of causing harm, in the absence of a rational consensus that harm will not occur, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate the policy (or action).
Effectively, this allows policy makers to make discretionary decisions in situations where there is evidence of potential harm in the absence of complete proof.
The principle implies that there is a responsibility to intervene and protect people from exposure to harm where there is a plausible risk.
Within the academic literature, there are two levels of precaution: strong and weak.
Strong precaution holds that mitigation is required whenever there is a possible risk, even if the supporting evidence is speculative and even if the costs of mitigation are high.
Weak precaution holds that mitigation is required without complete evidence if the potential damage would be serious and irreversible. Humans practice weak precaution every day, and often incur costs, to avoid hazards that are far from certain: we buy smoke detectors, we buckle our seatbelts – because the damage is unacceptable.
The point I’d like to make is that if there’s a plausible risk (that approaches will be remoted, towers will be contracted, and towers will be virtualized) and the damage would be serious and irreversible (once they’re contracted out you can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again, just like you can’t re-staff FSS) then there’s a responsibility to take action to mitigate the possibility.
Or we can say, Nah, they wouldn’t do that to us. It’ll never happen here.
Just like they said at FSS.
Just like they said at Eastern and PanAm.
It can’t happen to us. They wouldn’t do it.