Happy New Year!

Jan. 2, 2019

The news is amazing. Great year for airline growth — horrible year for airline fatalities.

Drones threatening airports? That’s what they say. Shut down Gatwick for 36 hours, for crying out loud!

Drones as a threat — perhaps even a terrorist threat — is a new idea. It seems to me that nobody knows what to do. Hand wringing seems appropriate.

We will learn to handle this, but it won’t come without effort and expense. People who operate drones safely and responsibly should be our strongest allies.

Let us note that drones are wonderful things. Every time I turn around someone has discovered a new way for business to put out a better, cheaper product — particularly in agriculture.

Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water on the drone issue. Drones are tools — not weapons for terrorism.

I’ve read that the pilot shortage has closed down at least one airline. So what are we gonna do about this shortage? Why did we wait this long? What can we do now?

I’m advising young people to become aviation pilots and/or technicians. We’ve talked about such a shortage forever, but never seen it as it is today.

Most of us have lived through other aviation troubles. Remember when the price of fuel shot up with OPEC? I was terrified. I remember thinking that if avfuel ever got up to a dollar a gallon, general aviation would cease.

Remember when Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers? We survived that, too. And we all remember 9/11.

But the beat goes on.

Y’all have a great New Year now, y’hear?