Blame your late flight on the Senate

Interesting chart on flight delays via Ezra:

That orangey-red is the delay due to our pathetically behind crumbling air travel infrastructure.  Wouldn’t want to spend money on that.  Might require taxes.  No, let’s just lose an estimated $41 billion in lost productivity per year.   Plus, when we do spend money, we don’t actually do it in a rational way:

Although the worst delays are concentrated in the busiest metro areas, Congress tends to sprinkle money for improvements on as many localities as possible. In 2009, for instance, the FAA spent $2.6 billion on airport improvements, but only one-quarter of that money went to the country’s largest airline hubs (which, in sum, serve about three-quarters of traffic). It’s good to be a small state with disproportionate representation.

Next time you are stuck waiting, don’t curse Delta, curse the money wasted on air travel infrastructure in North Dakota.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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