Choking the Skies

Airbus and US flag The US and the EU have reached a deal to liberalize transatlantic air travel. It may seem like a good idea to allow US airlines and EU airlines to send their planes to any destination in Europe and the US. It will increase competition and presumably give consumers more choice and lower prices. And they call this “Open Skies.”

In reality this deal looks to me like it will choke the already crowded sky even more. This deal is unlikely to provide me with a direct Lufthansa connection to Stuttgart from RDU or other smaller airports in the US to smaller airports in Europe. It will, however, increase traffic congestion at already extremely busy airports, like Atlanta, JFK and O’Hare, and it will increase the air traffic across the Atlantic. While evidence is mounting that air pollution is dangerously changing the global climate, this deal will put even more jets into the sky, depleting fossil fuel reserves and pumping greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

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