This week, commercial aviation discussions have been centered around the botched American roll out of 5G networks, an embarrassment that continues the perception abroad that the United States is in decline relative to other western democracies.
No other major industrialized nation has had this sort of clunky problem around the roll out of 5G as potential problems with commercial aviation were worked out in advance of the launch of the technology in those nations.
Several international carriers have temporarily suspended services into the United States.
On Wednesday, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark told CNN.
“I need to be as candid as I normally am, and say this is one of the most delinquent, utterly irresponsible issue subjects, call it what you like, I’ve seen in my aviation career because it involves organs of government, manufacturers, science, etc. And you know, the notion that, for instance, the United States government should sell its franchise for all the frequencies for a large amount of money. Somebody should have told them at the time – that the risks and the dangers they placed in certain frequency uses around field, airfields, metropolitan fields that should have been done at the time.”Sir Tim Clark to CNN
Why has the US failed where so many other nation’s haven’t in the implementing of 5G with regards to aviation safety? It’s a combination of a failure of regulatory agencies (The FCC & FAA here more than others), predatory behavior by the telecom companies (on this the FCC are largely to blame also because they allowed two giants AT&T and Verizon to essentially bully smaller competitors out of the way and win an auction to control this) and the structure of the FAA.
But ain’t that America in the 21st Century?
A slow, cumbersome and fading giant, whose bureaucracies inability to nimbly adapt to the times while political leadership soothes corporate excess leads to disaster after disaster.
On that not so positive note let’s move on to this week’s other news as it impacts Florida…
In a direct shot at Southwest which in 2021 carried 97% of the passengers to/from Chicago’s Midway Airport, Frontier Airlines is resuming service to the airport to compliment it’s already large operation down the road at O’Hare Airport. Frontier will begin daily Midway-Tampa service in April and daily Midway to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in October. Each of those routes are flown at least four times daily by Southwest currently. Frontier will also launch Houston Hobby to Orlando service in May.
Orlando will remain the only mainland US city served from O’Hare as Frontier focuses on Puerto Rico and international routes from there while moving domestic routes to Midway.
Spirit won’t fly Fort Lauderdale-Managua in March.
Air Canada is ending seasonal Orlando-Halifax service early this year, ending it in February.
Eastern is scheduled to fly Miami-Santa Cruz, Bolivia nonstops three times a week starting in April. Given this version of Eastern’s recent track record with scheduling and then cancelling international long-haul services quickly, I am not sure this will ever fly.