Airlines warn of "catastrophic" 5G aviation "crisis" tomorrow

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File

If this entire situation goes pear-shaped tomorrow, don’t say that you didn’t receive plenty of warnings. We learned over the Christmas holiday period that the nation’s airlines were in a panic over the impending launch of a national 5G network because many of their commercial aircraft could suffer navigational equipment failures when exposed to the new C-band radiation coming from the cell towers. The rollout of the new service, mostly by Verizon and AT&T, was scheduled to start on January 3rd, but the date was pushed back until tomorrow in a “compromise” that basically satisfied nobody. Now the date is almost upon us and the nation’s major airlines have sent an urgent letter to multiple federal government departments warning that a “catastrophic aviation crisis” is on the way unless something is done. They’re talking about the possible cancellation of more than a thousand flights daily, affecting as many as 100,000 passengers. And yet the launch is apparently still scheduled to go forward. (Reuters)

The chief executives of major U.S. passenger and cargo carriers on Monday warned of an impending “catastrophic” aviation crisis Wednesday when AT&T and Verizon are set to deploy new 5G service.

“Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded,” wrote the chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and others to the White House, Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission. “This means that on a day like yesterday, more than 1,100 flights and 100,000 passengers would be subjected to cancellations, diversions or delays.”

It wasn’t just the major passenger airlines that signed off on this letter. UPS and FedEx Express, both of whom have large fleets of aircraft, added their objections to the plan for the same reasons. (As if it wasn’t already hard enough to get your packages…)

Keep in mind that these alarms being raised over the new 5G networks have nothing to do with some of the conspiracy theories making the rounds out there. The airlines are not suggesting that 5G causes COVID or that the transmissions will activate the microscopic tracking chips in the vaccines most of us have received. They’re talking about older digital altimeters that are not shielded against C-band radiation and can potentially be disabled by it. Any plane coming in for an instrument landing during poor visibility conditions could find itself in a lot of trouble and that’s a risk that the airlines are rightly refusing to take.

Now the Biden administration at all applicable levels has been warned about this pending air travel disaster multiple times. The White House has been told directly. Pete Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation have been informed. The FCC and the FAA have been officially notified. At a time when not only commercial air travel but the entire supply chain is already being severely disrupted, we may be preparing to further cripple this segment of our infrastructure when the 5G switches are flipped tomorrow.

Under the current plan that Buttigieg’s Department of Transportation approved, only fifty airports in the entire country will be “shielded” from the C-band radiation. For the thousands of other airports, the airlines will be forced to pick and choose which planes with newer altimeters can be sent to the rest of them. The planes with older altimeters will be restricted to flights between only those fifty airports. Obviously, this is going to lead to massive disruptions and delays.

Meanwhile, the major cell service carriers paid huge amounts of money to the government for the rights to the 5G bands and they did so based on the good faith of the government to allow them to move forward. How did this turn into such a mess when the problem has been known about and anticipated for so long? And will the Biden administration really allow this to take place tomorrow after having been warned well in advance? Stay tuned, sports fans. We may be about to witness the next in a series of totally preventable debacles caused by nothing but rampant government incompetence.