Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
The transportation industries—airline, railroad, shipping, and trucking—are networks involving both a flow and a grid. The flow element relates to what is being transported—such as airplanes and trains—and the grid is the physical infrastructure used to manage the flow— such as airports and air traffic control. Some transportation industries have been freed of extensive federal regulation over both elements, including railroads and trucking. However, air travel had only its flow element—the airlines— economically liberalized under the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act.
The Federal Aviation Administration remains a command-and-control government agency that poorly manages air transport infrastructure to the detriment of consumers. Air traffic control services should be privatized, and landing slots and airport space should be allocated using market prices and new technology rather than through administrative fiat.