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.”
The whistleblower noted that communication issues have always been a concern, but the mask mandate has made the problem much worse. He said that he has taken his mask off at times so he could communicate clearly to a pilot, only to be told by a supervisor to put it back on.
“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 a re working,” he told Berenson.
The whistleblower stressed that this is happening throughout the entire country, affecting “every airplane for every airline in America.”
AN URGENT WARNING FROM AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER WHO SAYS THE FAA’S INSISTENCE IN WEARING MASKS WHILE SPEAKING TO PILOTS NOW PRESENTS A SAFETY RISK.
This is real; he sent his ID to confirm his identity. pic.twitter.com/QokXaygF9G
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 7, 2021
TV lawyer and flight instructor Phillip Holloway told Berenson on Twitter that “as a general aviation pilot,” he can confirm that Biden’s mask mandate has caused problems,
“I’ve heard these muffled voices on the radio & had no idea what the person was saying-controller or other pilot-It’s a matter of time before something goes terribly wrong,” Holloway said. “Clear comms is critical to flight safety.”
Another general aviation (GA) pilot says he flies out of one of Colorado’s busiest GA airports.
This pilot said that his control tower went to “limited operations” last summer, cutting down the number of controllers who could be in the control tower at any given time. He explained that before Covid, there would be 4 to 6 controllers working together during busy Holidays and weekends. Now, he says, only one person is allowed to handle those duties, “and it’s an absolute shit show as you can imagine.”
More on flight safety: “it’s an absolute shit show.” pic.twitter.com/Vdg6ZQDZzt
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 8, 2021
Berenson appeared on Fox News Monday night to talk about the national security issue.
He told host Tucker Carlson that the FAA whistleblower said that people should be aware that requiring air traffic controllers to wear masks is creating a “real risk.”
“Several thousand people have retweeted that and now I’m talking to you about it so hopefully someone at the FAA will pay a little attention to this,” Berenson said.
Tucker Carlson and Alex Berenson discuss how the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) management's weird obsession with (apparently) forcing air traffic controllers to wear face masks when talking to pilots could lead to devastating consequences. pic.twitter.com/aw0ojYLfA1
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) March 9, 2021