According to the Washington Post (Keith Alexander, Aug 23, 2006) the FAA is going to pay more attention to the men and women in the almost invisible trenches of America's massive airline industry. It is about time. With so much attention given to the health and welfare of the pilots and flight attendants, the troops on the ground, the grunts sort of get lost in the shuffle. After all, we rarely see them in our travel experience. Well maybe antiseptically through the climate controlled aperature of the aircraft tube's porthole.
"Look at those guys out there. Boy it's hot. Flight Attendant, can I get some water?"
"Billy close that window shade, it's hot in here."
Largely, the "on time departure" "on time arrival" wars are waged on the battlefield of the gates, ramps and carousels that make up these warriors' surfaces and gaps (a basic combat concept, explained here briefly in a USMC warfighting publication). Because they are effectively waging war on inefficiency using the weapons of process and process improvement/lean they are constantly in a state of race. Continuously conquering inefficiency is tough, but throw the other demon in there: WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS, and it is really tough. Throw a third: SECURITY and it becomes almost impossible without outside attention and help.
Boom's way of saying GOOD and IT'S ABOUT TIME.