The Wild Blue Needs Better Signals THE U.S. is rapidly running out of air space. To the groundling, the skies may seem unlimited, but the traffic problem in the nation's air lanes is almost as bad as on the highways. On some days, the four New York City airports handle 2,300 take-offs and landings—a round-the-clock average of one every 39 seconds—in a space 60 air miles wide and 40 air miles long.

Since 1946, air-passenger miles have more than doubled, to 16 billion last year. Not only has the number of commercial planes in use...

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