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.
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.