Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Bad Names -> People Die; Good Names -> Pilots Smile
I don't know much about aviation, but these navigation points (intersections of the radial signals from ground beacons or satellites) are used by pilots to navigate, and if they aren't memorable, a pilot might set autopilots to fly to the wrong locations. When planes fly to the wrong place they might run into each other or to mountains. So poorly designed names could cause people to die.
Nancy Kalinowski is the FAA's Director of Airspace and Aeronautical Information Management, the department that assigns these names. Way to go, Nancy -- and there are some people at the FDA who could probably use a nudge to be more customer-oriented in the name game.
And while it was neat to see two stories about naming in the Wall Street Journal in just a couple of days, too bad they were assigned to different authors. It would have been provocative to contrast the FDA and FAA naming philosophies in a single article.