The Painstaking Impediments of the 2021 Aerospace Industry

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Early 2021 Aerospace Setbacks

Ups and downs from the Covid-19 pandemic have affected many industries across the nation, some more devastating than others, including the distressed aerospace industry. The decrease in demand during surges of new Covid cases left the entire industry in disarray, with certain portions at times making out better than the sector that generally would generate the majority of income, the commercial airline industry.

With a steady air of apprehension, airlines across the world would become zones of discomfort and uncertainty. Discomfort for those who are anxious about the dangers and contagiousness of the virus taking the world by storm. Uncertainty for owners, regulators, and passengers alike, as regulations change every day it is unknown whether will board flights or if those scheduled flights will even takeoff.

At some points, the atmosphere in the aerospace industry actually grounded many airplanes for quite some time. This did however cause an opportunity for refurbishment and NDT companies like AMI Aero Marine Interior, Inc. because with so many airplanes grounded there wasn’t a better time to make some changes, or even needed replacements.

Expert refurbishers and experienced nondestructive testers would take on large projects and never disappoint their clients already dealing with much anguish. AMI Aero Marine Interior, Inc. offers incredible materials and top-of-the-line customization to turn any commercial aircraft, or private jets alike, into dream aesthetics for owners. Scheduling-wise, this did make sense for airline industries but, unfortunately, that and their results were the only upsides for airliners.

Read last month’s article “Hazardous Covid-19 Variant Omicron Puts Travel in a Bind” to further understand how the variants of Covid-19 have bound air travel.

Airliners Impedement Variants

The Omicron would not stop making headlines since then, as just this month a spike across the nation would ruin holiday plans by ground and by air. The spread from person to person would stop thousands from spending holiday time with their loved ones, and the dangers of such a spike would stop thousands of flights. Furthering the distance of loved ones.

Bloomberg would actually do a report on the risk of infections on airplanes, titled “Omicron May Double Risk of Getting Infected on Planes, IATA Says“. This article concluded that since the emergence of the Omicron virus, passengers are two to three times more likely to catch the virus and that the highly-transmissible variant accounts for %70 of new cases in the U.S. alone. Advice for minimizing the risk of transmission remains similar to what we’ve heard over the past year and a half:

  • Avoid touching common surfaces
  • Hand hygiene a priority
  • Masks
  • Social-distancing
  • Controlled-boarding procedures
  • Avoiding face-to-face contact with other passengers
  • Avoid unmasking during flight

This time around the Omicron variant has actually impeded airlines in a different way than just driving down demand, it managed to incapacitate a significant amount of staff and crew. According to an article posted by CNN, “Travel nightmare: Another 2,500 flights canceled Monday“, this past holiday weekend saw thousands of flights canceled and delayed. Even as passenger confidence has risen, the Covid-19 virus managed to find another weak point in the commercial airliners’ operations.

The details on the mayhem over this past holiday weekend are similar to the actual situation, hard to keep up with. In an attempt to lay it out chronologically, last Wednesday more people passed through TSA checkpoints than the same day pre-covid in 2019. With a peak of 2.19 million travelers on Thursday. Meaning this all took place during the busiest time of the year. On Christmas Eve, Christmas, and the day after Christmas more than 6,000 flights were canceled globally. On Sunday more than 1,200 flights were canceled and 5,000 delayed. On Monday alone, more than 2,800 flights were canceled, with 1,000 within, going into, or out of the United States, and almost 11,000 flights delayed.

As of Monday afternoon, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport held the title for most delays and cancellations in the world.

Though it turns out that the Covid virus is not our only problem, and surely not the only problem for the aerospace industry. It was announced by the airline industry that the upcoming 5G deployment could lead to flight disruptions. This warning and response from the wireless industry were detailed in an article, “Airline industry warns upcoming 5G deployment could cause hiccups for travelers“, posted by cnet.

The article suggests that if companies planning to begin using the C-band spectrum for 5G service in January go forward with their plan, then airlines would have to divert a percentage of daily flights due to interference. Affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers. They go on to specify that the FAA warned about potential interference between key cockpit safety devices and cell towers on the ground transmitting 5G signals.

The article further discusses that radio altimeters will be unusable at more than 40 of the largest airports in the country, and would be a significant setback for this sector of the aerospace industry. Some statements given in the article suggest this would be a failure by the government to allow this to proceed, but those in the wireless industry would beg to differ.

Spokespeople for some big-name companies in the wireless industry have communicated that their companies would voluntarily agree to take precautions, but are adamant that this switch will pose no risk to air safety. They back up this claim by citing real-world applications in other countries, bearing results conclusive with their statements. Though it seems this still may cause disruptions for regulators cautious of what they have deemed unsafe for their passengers.

Aerospace Industry Delays

Commercial flights experiencing delays for takeoff are not alone in the aerospace industry, even those looking to go past our atmosphere have needed more patience. As stated earlier in the blog, it turns out that the pandemic-causing virus is not all we must be wary of, mother nature and social pressures can also have their own ways of pushing back plans.

Speaking of plans, the Blue Origin launch that included Good Morning America host Michael Strahan was actually pushed back a whole 48 hours, as stated by “Blue Origin launch with GMA host Michael Strahan delayed to Saturday by high winds“. This was the first time that all 6 crew chairs would be filled on the New Shepard spacecraft. The hold-up turned out to be high winds. Assumingly very disappointing for passengers, but worth every minute of that delay. Trying to continue certain types of conditions can prove to be deadly. Something learned far too well in the aerospace industry.

The article “NASA astronauts will spacewalk on Thursday after space debris alert” shows that the aerospace industry does not only adhere to adverse weather conditions on Earth but also outside of its atmosphere. A scheduled spacewalk at the beginning of December was pushed back due to space junk advisories. Before the scheduled spacewalk, those living on the space station were forced into a shelter for these advisories. The walk was postponed because the risk of tearing a spacesuit was increased too much.

Evaluating risk, and the present environment, allows us to make calculated decisions to secure our interests in business and the well-being of ourselves and others. This skill becomes especially valuable in the aerospace industry. For this reason, it is hard to blame American Airlines for the decision they made to reduce international flights next summer. The article “American Airlines plans to reduce international flights next summer” discusses the lack of widebody aircraft that the organization is currently experiencing, along with the uncertainty brought on by the Omicron, affecting their decision to hold back this coming summer.

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