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Morning Brief: Satellites to Improve Air Traffic Control

by Renewing America Staff
April 4, 2012

A Delta Air Lines aircraft lands at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. (Tami Chappell/Courtesy Reuters) A Delta Air Lines aircraft lands at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. (Tami Chappell/Courtesy Reuters)

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Alaskan Airlines will begin testing satellite-based air traffic control systems (NYT). Moving from radar to GPS systems will safely reduce the distance required between flying aircraft. Airport capacities can grow without constructing new runways because takeoffs and landings can occur more frequently. Passengers should experience fewer delays and shorter, more direct approaches to airports with smoother descents. This technology is part of the FAA’s broader NextGen plan to upgrade the nation’s air traffic control system by 2025 that may cost up to $45 billion.

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Corporate Regulation and Taxation

Better Financial Disclosure Increases Valuations

The Harvard Business Review argues that increased disclosure generally increases valuations. To spur the growth of start-ups, Congress recently passed the JOBS Act which would eliminate many costly Sarbanes-Oxley (Sarbox) disclosure requirements for new public companies with less than $1 billion in revenue. The information content of audit opinions and financial statements grew after Sarbox; with fewer unknowns, investors can make more accurate valuations, improving market efficiency and IPO pricing. Sarbox also improved internal governance by disciplining poorly run firms.

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Education and Human Capital

Students Should Read More Non-fiction

While reading fiction is important, success in college and career often depends upon the ability to understand and analyze non-fiction sources. Even in schools with high literacy rates, many students have a marked preference for novels and literature and are assigned little reading from informational texts. Education Week discusses the challenges educators will face in getting students to read 70 percent non-fiction, the goal set by the Common Core State.

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Steven J. Markovich holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

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