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Planes too. - Peter Hentges

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September 28th, 2005

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08:11 am - Planes too.
Inspired by the letter of pegkerr's daughter to our President, I got to wondering about disaster response. In the wake of something sufficiently disastrous, would the President have the authority to re-route commercial airline traffic to help evacuate a major city? Would doing so be of great enough help?

My thought was that if the situation would warrant, the President could give the order and all commercial flights would land at their intended destinations, unload, refuel, and dead-head it to the place that needed to be evacuated. Now, there would have to be some coordination as to making sure too many planes didn't arrive at the same time, that they could be refueled and such when they arrived and that there was a place to go when they took off again. Still, it seems like a way to get a lot of people out of a dangerous place in a short amount of time.
Current Mood: curiouscurious

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 29th, 2005 12:46 am (UTC)
I think that air traffic is sufficiently complex and expensive and has enough problems and failure modes that that solution would have to have an on-ground back-up. Might was well use the on-ground back-up from the start.

K. [just offering my opinion]
Date:September 29th, 2005 12:49 am (UTC)
The problem is it's such a small number of people. The Boeing 747 is the biggest commercial plane, and it only carries about 400. When several million people are trying to get out of a major metropolitan area (as with Houston for Rita), that's not going to get you very far.

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