In all things, there’s a short-term game and a long-term game. You can win a victory in the short-term game – and while you’re savoring that win you can lose the long-term game.
You can’t be successful without engaging on both timeframes. If your concern is a long-term construct, like “the future of the ATC profession”, then it’s essential that you work both long- and short-term.
When do you rest, when do you relent, when are you done, when is it finished? Let me respond with another question: When does Lockheed Martin rest, when does Boeing ATC relent, and when are they finished?
If your opponent is corporate industry, they don’t stop, they don’t rest, they’re not done- as long as there’s long-term money to be made.
On the most basic level, if there’s two sides in a long-term contest, the side that stops fighting first, that takes it easy first, will lose. At an intermediate level, the side that makes the most big mistakes will lose. On a higher level, the side that shifts between short- and long-term, moving to lower-profile, long-term strategic efforts when the short-term situation is adverse to their cause, will eventually win when the atmosphere becomes friendlier to their victory.
Put another way: Team Obama gave us a few short-term wins. Meanwhile, industry is developing technology and running mini-projects (just research, nothing here, move along) paid for by the government that will allow them to step up when Team Obama is distracted or gone. The contracts that pay industry to develop their long-term objectives, even during Obama’s administration, are buried in the Bush Flight Plan.
Let me belabor the point just a bit: the contest isn’t settled. In fact, the government continues to pay industry to develop virtual towers and Nextgen towers. Those towers won’t involve government controllers.
Read yesterday’s report, Searidge to work with MIT on control tower alternative. A couple of key phrases:
- won’t require the construction of traditional air traffic control towers.
- vice-president of air traffic management products (it’s ATM products not ATC services that’s the buzzword. What’s the difference? You.)
- provide air traffic services without the requirement for controllers to have to look out a window to see aircraft coming in.
Are we resting or active? Is industry? What happens when we have a Republican administration?
And how is it that they’re running a project to change the nature of terminal ATC at a NATCA facility’s airport? Just research, nothing here, move along.