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Carroll School of Management

John Barger

President and Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue Airways

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston 

September 22, 2011

TAKEAWAY: AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL

In the United States, in the Northeast, 20 percent of all aircraft that fly, scheduled, on any given day in the world, cross through the airspace between Washington and Boston. Now they may be landing at Newark, or Kennedy, or flying through, going from London to Dallas. They may be flying to Providence or Manchester, Logan, landing, whatever it might be. Twenty percent of the traffic is here in our part of the world, but we’re still using ground-based radar technology post-World War II. And think about what you’re doing with your car. Just the GPS, your cell phone, and what’s happening.

So we talk about enhancing the next-generation air traffic control system. And from a serious point of view, because we’re all dependent upon the economy.

When I look at JetBlue based in the Northeast, 100-plus trips going to 150 at Boston, we’re the largest airline at New York’s Kennedy Airport, we’re the largest domestic airline in New York. We fly to five New York airports. We’re in all three [mid-Atlantic]: Baltimore, Washington Reagan, and Washington Dulles airports. Improving the next-generation air traffic control system, this isn’t optional. This is imperative.