Ev­ery­one’s been an hour, a day, or a year late

Seaway News - - OPINION - Nick Wolochatiuk Dances with Words

If your pizza doesn’t ar­rive on time, it’s free. How­ever, if the new gen­er­a­tion air­liner you or­dered doesn’t roll off the pro­duc­tion line and take to the air with the promised punc­tu­al­ity and per­for­mance, heads roll and penal­ties are paid. For ex­am­ple, the enor­mous Air­bus A380’s 40,000 con­nec­tors serv­ing its over 500 km of al­most 100,000 wires didn’t quite match up. Re­sult: the first of many de­liv­ery de­lays.

Boe­ing’s 787 Dream­liner was also late get­ting to the start­ing line. First, blame was dumped in the laps of for­eign sub­con­trac­tors. Then came per­sis­tent prob­lems with its over­heat­ing lithium-ion bat­ter­ies.

Bom­bardier’s long over­due CSeries twin-jet is yet another of this cen­tury’s tardy air­lin­ers. There have been nu­mer­ous de­lay- caus­ing changes in its de­sign. At present, only the pro­to­type is fly­ing.

We have to go back to the Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury to get one of the worst avi­a­tion tardy tales. In 1963 the Royal Cana­dian Navy took de­liv­ery of its first Siko­rsky CH-124 Sea King he­li­copter. Twenty years later, the search for a re­place­ment started. A con­tract was even­tu­ally signed, but later can­celled. Then a new Siko­rsky model was or­dered. It is now over­bud­get, un­der-per­form­ing and un-de­liv­ered. Happy over-40 birth­day RCN Sea King!

The word ‘LATE’ is also ap­plies to the Coast Guard’s long-promised new Arc­tic ice breaker pro­cure­ment. Per­haps Global Warm­ing will make the whole pro­gram un­nec­es­sary. The navy’s re­sup­ply ship re­place­ment pro­gram is also adrift, act­ing as if it were rud­der­less, out of steam, about to run aground.

Any­one liv­ing in East­ern On­tario is fa­mil­iar with the saga of the Corn­wall Se­away high- level bridge. In­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal ma­noeu­ver­ing and bluff­ing brought it into ex­is­tence in 1957. Its cur­rent con­di­tion is a cross be­tween a cor­duroy road and the Aberdeen Tank Prov­ing Grounds. Still com­ing is the com­ple­tion of the bridge’s long- over­due low- level re­place­ment. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the bridge non­sense is the cur­rent dou­ble re­lo­ca­tion of the re­lated ‘in­terim’ Canada Cus­toms fa­cil­ity.

I’m sure some em­bar­rass­ing change- toDay­light Sav­ing Time sto­ries ex­ist. “Sorry sir, but that bus left an hour ago.” “Din­ner’s cold! Where were you?” “The sun has al­ready set. Come tomorrow, but ear­lier.” “It says here your din­ner reser­va­tion was for 7: 00 PM.” “Yes, you’re on time, but the roast won’t be ready for another hour, be­cause the oven timer is still on EST.”

Time is al­ways of the essence.

(Photo by Nick Wolochatiuk)

FI­NALLY, IN SER­VICE – The Air­bus A380 ser­vice de­but was be­hind sched­ule, thanks to the in­evitable prob­lems that find their way into vir­tu­ally ev­ery ground-break­ing tech­nol­ogy. Mur­phy’s Law rules.

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