Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Flying Above Problems

The Torre Colfondos, on Calle 67 and Carrera 8 in Chapinero, will not have a commuters heliport - for now.
(Photo: Panoramio)
Imagine the convenience of flying quickly and smoothly high above the noise and congestion of central Bogotá between Bogotá's business center and El Dorado Airport.

Such a service would come, naturally, at a high price for the commuter - but perhaps a much higher one for the city.

High above Bogotá, a commuter helicopter takes off.
(Photo: Aviatur)
Aviatur has been proposing using the commercial heliport on top of the Torre Colfondos, on Calle 67 and Carrera 8, for commuter flights from the surrounding business district to the airport. In the face of neighbors' protests about noise pollution, the company announced today the suspension of the plan, but that they would seek another location.

Helicopter commuting is already established in many big, traffic-choked cities. Liberty Helicopter, of New York, for example, offers eight-minute flights between New Jersey and Manhattan for $200.00 per day, replacing a one-hour ferry boat commute.

For elite bankers, stockbrokers, politicians and others, an hour may be worth $100.00. By the same token, the wealthy live in isolated, protected communities, send their kids to private schools and vacation on private tropical islands, far away from the problems which afflict the rest of us.

Congested streets? Why, we just fly over them!

Crime in the streets? That's why we live behind walls in a private community!

Pollution? Poverty? Dirt and hunger? We don't even have to see those things!

All of this might be well and good (besides the tremendous environmental impact), except that it insulates the wealthy and powerful - often society's decision makers - from society's real problems.

Once Bogotá's elite fly over the city's noise, pollution and traffic jams, they'll care less about working to solve those problems.

As a result, those problems become less likely to be solved.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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