54 Pilot, 1 Passenger Jet Taxis for Take-Off
You are now witnessing the inevitable convergence of a number of trends of our modern global society:
• As airlines consolidate and monopolize routes, fares for the average passenger (including all those additional taxes, fees and surcharges), rise beyond the reach of an average income. Air travel is thus increasingly becoming the province of only the hyper-affluent über-CEO or –celebrity — or their agents or lawyers.
• Ticketing hassles, credential checks, homeland security, body scans, pat-downs, bag searches, unpredictable delays and interminable waits drive a growing number of leisure passengers to train and bus terminals and the family minivan.
• The greed and bloated corporate structure of airline manufacturers guarantee that aircraft only become ever more phenomenally expensive, with each and every conceivable bell, whistle, hydraulic, sensor, motorized flatscreen, logo-emblazoned upholstery fabric, telemetric, and techno-gadget.
• The rapidly advancing technological complexity of aircraft — in the face of vanishing or inadequate pilot training and certification programs, longer shifts and shortened layovers — means each aircraft requires greater crew redundancy.
• Airline pilot union rules increasingly demand that all the pilots once working for those many disparate globe-girdling airlines that have now been moshed into a single commuter route must be kept on the payroll for the foreseeable future.
But don’t worry. At least we’ll be keeping all those aircraft tire recapping and retreading operations down in the industrial park really busy.