Aviation Economics? Looking for Material.

From: G
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:17 AM
To: Dr. Walter E. Block
Subject: FAA Air Traffic Control, general aviation

Dr. Block: I have long admired your written works and the grace and poise you have demonstrated in recorded interviews and debates. Thank you for showing us who know the joyful libertarian only through his words that happiness and warmth are much more attractive to outsiders than bile and vitriol. As an instrument-rated private pilot, I am a regular user of FAA Air Traffic Control (ATC) services. Pilots are a curious lot. Individualism is strong: according to FAR 91.3, the pilot in command is directly responsible for and the final authority as to the operation of the aircraft, so not even the FAA may legally command a pilot to take an unsafe action. On the other hand, some are regulation-quoting collectivists, protectionists, and nannies. FlyteNow sought to be the flight sharing Uber of the skies, but the FAA moved to shut them down to the cheers of commercial and airline transport pilots who tut-tutted that the ignorant public cannot truly appreciate the risks involved. Lately there has been debate over proposed privatization of ATC. Advocacy groups and even the famed Captain Sully are opposed. You wrote Road Socialism, so who is the Walter Block of the Victor airways? Likewise the general aviation fleet and the average pilot are aging. Costs are likely a critical factor in both. I recently read that the average general aviation aircraft is some 40 years old, bringing to mind the sad picture of old cars strung along under the Castro regime in Cuba. Which Austrian scholars have studied the general aviation market in the U.S. or elsewhere (where it is sadly almost zero)? Thank you for your kind consideration. In liberty, G

Dear G: Thanks for your kind words. Unhappily, I know of no research of this sort from an Austrian or Austro-libertarian point of view. I am blogging this in the hope that some readers will be able to supply me with such, and, if so, I’ll pass on their suggestions to you. Bob Poole of Reason Foundation has studied transportation in general, and may have published some material on aviation, but he is not an Austrian, and not even much of a libertarian (more of a beltway type libertarian). However, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Sorry, that’s the only lead I have at present.


4:57 pm on November 11, 2017