I mean… who saw that coming?!?
It has been the subject of countless jokes by stand-up comedians. It’s been a recurring bit in sketch comedy about flying in modern times. Heck, it’s even been privately questioned by every person on every flight for years. And yet… it turns out that cell phone signals really can mess with the instrumentation on airliners.
Tomorrow is the day that AT&T & Verizon intend to rollout their 5G networks in several locations around the country. However, the CEOs of several airlines are espousing dire warnings about this, saying that 5G networks can interfere with the altimeters on modern airliners, an essential instrument, particularly during takeoffs and landings in low-visibility weather.
Really? REALLY? All this time, we’ve thought it was all BS. Or maybe it was a way to sell on-board internet. Or just to keep everybody quiet during the flight. To be honest, it never bothered me; I have no problem being forced to turn off my phone once in a while. But to find out that it was an actual danger, and not an antiquated remnant of ancient times? Mind-blowing.
Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary (and a man I have great respect for), is also saying this is a problem. If the altimeters in planes can’t be relied on, it may force airlines to ground their flights, which will have, simply-put, catastrophic effects on our economy. Thousands of flights could be grounded every day, just because we need our TikTok videos a little sooner.
I don’t know what to think about this. The cell companies say they’re already using it in other countries and it’s safe, but the airlines say differently. One of them is wrong. And it’d be awesome if we could manage not to get this one wrong.
~Jake from 98.7 The Bull