Air traffic control should be reformed

With many issues facing our state and nation, it’s clear our lawmakers face a significant challenge when prioritizing their agendas. However, I’m writing to encourage our federal lawmakers to place a special focus on air traffic control (ATC) reform this legislative session.

Air travel impacts a large swath of Americans, and South Dakotans have undoubtedly faced frustrating flight delays and cancellations while traveling by air. Although I do not believe there is a guaranteed way to fix every problem plaguing the airlines, I do think there is room for reform. Currently, our federal government regulates both flight operations and safety. I believe the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does a very good job with safety oversight, but the same cannot be said when it comes to operations.

For real change to occur, operations and safety oversight should be split into separate entities. The FAA should continue its safety oversight, but it would be far more effective to place ATC operational responsibilities within the oversight of independent aviation professionals. Our ATC system is facing many challenges. Unless efforts are made to implement reform, these problems will continue and likely worsen. I hope South Dakota’s lawmakers will consider making flight reform a priority.

Mike Napier

Rapid City

When Civil War veterans joined forces

After the Civil War there was a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg by Confederate and Yankee veterans who survived the battle. When it came time for the Confederate troops to be defeated, the Yankee veterans threw down their weapons and embraced their Confederate comrades. This is the way the country should view the Civil War. Signed a Vietnam War-era veteran.

William Elliot

Hot Springs

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Pig wrestling and pig races

As a former Black Hills resident, I like to read about the area. I see you had an article on "pig wrestling." In Tillamook, Oregon, we have "Pig and Ford" races where drivers of very modified Model T Fords have to get a greased pig from a pen, crank their racers, go 100 yards, release the aforementioned swine and go back for another. Each time they stop the "T's" have to be restarted. A great time is had by all.

Jon Slawik  

Tualatin, Oregon

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