FAA ‘cares more’ about air traffic controllers wearing masks than passenger, pilot safety
Source: Dan Lyman
Air travel is potentially becoming more dangerous due to face masks impeding communications between pilots and air traffic control specialists (ATCS).
Journalist and author Alex Berenson published excerpts from a verified whistleblower’s email explaining that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented stricter rules about masking in air traffic control towers and how it is severely hampering critical transmissions.
The whistleblower says after approximately a year of flexible mask policies, guidance was updated a month ago, with controllers told to “wear them at all times while at work, in position, etc. unless you have an office and are in there by yourself.”
Controllers must now wear masks while speaking with pilots.
“It has created an issue where we get a lot more read-back errors from pilots on instructions because they can’t hear us clearly over the radio,” the ATCS explains. “Our instructions are almost always time or safety critical, sometimes down to seconds.”
“Worst case scenario is a pilot thinks we say something, reads it back wrong, and it results in disaster if we can’t correct them before we lose them on radios.”
The whistleblower asserts there are often communication errors as rule, but they have increased substantially due to masks.
“The FAA cares as much, or more, about us wearing masks as they do about the safety of passengers and pilots on the aircraft we are working,” the ACTS warns. “I want to reiterate, this is the entire country, and this is every airplane for every airline in America that we are working with you, your family, your friends.”
“I’m bringing this up just for context on how ridiculous this has all become. For the FAA, it seems like there is no end in sight. They’re pushing the vaccines in a way that they’ve offered ‘free days off’ (excused absence) following the shots, but are not requiring them as of yet.”
Berenson says more flight controllers and pilots have since contacted him, voicing similar concerns.