To all my pilot friends… and anyone who’s on board a flight…
An Air traffic controller is ringing alarm bells about the Biden administration’s mask mandates, warning that the face coverings are creating a serious safety hazard.
Investigative journalist Alex Berenson reported on Twitter that he received an “urgent warning” from an air traffic controller who works at a major Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The whistleblower told Berenson that the FAA issued a guidance about a month ago requiring controllers to “wear masks at all times” while at work and in position, and warned that the directive could have devastating consequences for airline passengers and pilots.
Prior to this, he said, most controllers took off masks while speaking directly with pilots.
The whistleblower noted that posters have gone up where he works that say “mask up for the mission,” and his supervisors are now insisting that they keep the masks on while speaking with pilots.
“For context, our headsets use a boom microphone that adjusts to fit somewhere an inch or two away from our face. 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,” he explained.
“A bad readback or failure to even copy can cause a lot of problems when we’re busy because we use up more time to correct them,” he continued. “Worst case scenario is a pilot thinks we say something, reads it back wrong, and it results in disaster because we can’t correct them before we lose them on radios.”