In 2013, six of the nation’s 30 largest airports were already experiencing congestion levels equal to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving one day per the average week. In 2014, the number of airports already at that congestion level has more than doubled to 13.
Facts & Quotes
U.S. air traffic control uses technology from the World War II era that causes systematic delays and cancellations.
U.S. air traffic congestion has steadily increased over the last decade, with record levels of delays at our busiest airports. The U.S. now has the world’s worst air traffic congestion: more than 1 in 5 flights departing our busiest airports are delayed, and 48% of delays in our 5 largest metropolitan areas are caused by our outdated aviation system. This problem will get worse in the future, as air travel is projected to double or even triple by 2025.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that full channel dimensions at the nation’s busiest 59 ports are available less than 35 percent of the time.This situation can increase the cost of shipping as vessels carry less cargo in order to reduce their draft or wait for high tide before entering a harbor.
China is home to six of the world’s top 10 busiest ports. No U.S. port is in the top 10.
U.S. Port volume is expected to double by 2020; Freight tonnage is expected to increase 88% by 2035; and, passenger miles to increase by 80% in 30 years.
Since 1950, the population of the United States more than doubled but the road system grew only from 3.3 million miles to more than 4.1 million miles.
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure graded America’s infrastructure a D+.
Transportation infrastructure is at or nearing capacity in many parts of the country and is expected to get worse. Americans wasted 42 hours sitting in congestion in 2014 and wasted 3.1 billion gallons of fuel – equal to one full work week and three weeks’ worth of gas for every traveler. This is up from 16 hours in 1982. The total cost of congestion in 2014 was $160 billion or $960 in wasted time and fuel for every traveler.
On an average day, some 43 million tons of goods valued at $29 billion move on the nation’s interconnected network of ports, roads, rails and inland waterways.
The economic competitiveness of U.S. transportation was ranked number one in the world in 2005. In 2016 it was ranked 11th.
Every local dollar invested in water and wastewater infrastructure generates almost $9 in direct and indirect income.