Transportation: Not Quite Ready When You Are

"I have better things to do," complained Banker Robert Miller last week during a preflight delay in Los Angeles. At Denver's Stapleton Airport, detained Executive Helene Eckstein declared, "No planes arrive on time any more."

Such plaints are widespread as the nation's summer travel season begins, and last week the Federal Aviation Administration gave statistical confirmation. So far this year, the number of flights delayed is 55% higher than last year, although total air traffic is up only 9%. The carriers and their pilots put the blame on a shortage of FAA controllers: 13,300, compared...

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