There’s a strong probability that if you’ve flown this summer, a problem has happened to you. Never before have there been so many flight delays and cancellations. My youngest and I had to drive home from Washington, D.C. when our flight was cancelled following a six-hour delay because of the issue, and we weren’t given the option of a replacement flight until days later. Newspapers with a national audience have been publishing articles about the various issues that tourists face during the previous few weeks.
The New York Times published an article criticising the typical airport dress while the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal highlighted the regular concerns of travellers who have encountered difficulty getting to their destinations. Even the federal government joined in when, in reaction to the present travel environment, the U.S. Department of Transportation suggested a rule requiring airlines to offer reimbursements for significant changes in a passenger’s schedule.
However, despite the overall picture, what travellers are experiencing in and around Florida is a completely different animal. Sunshine State has long stood out from its aristocratic neighbours, but those trying to travel to south Florida, such as Orlando, Miami, or Tampa Bay, are finding it extremely difficult due to our unusual aerial environment. A variety of causes are principally responsible for this scenario, not the least of which is the massive increase in the number of private planes entering our state.
Florida has surpassed California as the state with the most private jet flights, with roughly 12% of all flights taking place there, particularly during the pandemic. It should come as no surprise that we now house four of the busiest private jet airports in the nation: Palm Beach, Miami, Naples, and Ft. Lauderdale. Prior to the epidemic, our skies were far from empty, but with airports like Orlando now handling more than 40 million passengers annually (maintaining its status as one of the busiest in the world), the issue is obvious and indisputable.
What the majority of travellers, even seasoned veterans, are unaware of is that under Biden administration regulations, airspace is governed on the principle of “first come, first served,” which means that private flights and commercial jets are not prioritised over one another. Aircraft are regarded as the same regardless of their passenger capacity, whether it is just a few or well over a hundred. This implies that on specific routes, there is intense competition, and airlines frequently lose out, which has an impact on thousands of people all across their operations.
Joe Biden, in other words, treats a private aircraft carrying one of his rich donors equally to a commercial flight carrying hundreds of regular Americans. Unquestionably, it is getting harder and harder to get to Florida-based destinations on time, as scheduled, and without having to wait through an unexpected delay or cancellation due to sudden and frequently unstable weather, especially as we enter the peak of hurricane season.
Florida’s rising popularity is to be praised, but local businesses need more tourists, visitors, and consumers, not less. Accessibility is a major factor in why passengers choose Florida as their destination, as local businesses are all too aware of it. Unlike other similar destinations, there are no customs checkpoints before getting to that perfect beach or resort. People will start looking elsewhere if flying to our state is too difficult, which could result in fewer visitors in June and July the following year.
It is crucial that the Biden administration, especially the Federal Aviation Administration, stop giving billionaire elites top priority and offer a solution that can minimise the suffering experienced by travellers. If not, regular Floridians may encounter difficulties when flying into and out of our state. District 53, which includes South Brevard, Palm Bay, and parts of Melbourne and West Melbourne, is represented by Randy Fine.