Aviation Safety: There’s a balloon in the sky. So what?

4 min read

(United States) – Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you would’ve undoubtedly heard about the suspected ‘Chinese spy balloon’ that flew across the United States. The balloon created quite the stir, with varying opinions from all sides.

Some believe that having a ‘Chinese spy balloon’ floating over our air space for many days shows us as weak on the world stage. Others believe that the entire thing is possibly made up to distract us from something else. The argument for the latter is: “why would the Chinese use some outdated technology such as a balloon to spy on the United States when they have extremely sophisticated satellites that could do the same without being detected?”

With all that being said, however, whoever was responsible for this balloon created extreme safety hazards across the country from an aviation and civilian perspective with regard to lives and properties on the ground.

The United States aviation community prides itself on its extreme sensitivity to the security and safety of its airspace and its operations. This balloon ‘flies’ in the face of those claims and quite frankly it is a slap in the face to those who have worked hard to ensure that our air space is safe for its operators, travelers, and lives and property on the ground.

In this week’s On Aviation™ Digest, we share a few stories and articles on this very interesting event that has captivated Americans and many around the world.

FAA orders ground stop at 3 U.S. airports to support “national security effort” where suspected spy balloon was last seen

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Arrivals to and departures from three U.S. airports were paused for over an hour Saturday afternoon when the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop to “support the Department of Defense in a national security effort.” The FAA confirmed to CBS News that flights to and from Wilmington International Airport, Myrtle Beach International Airport and Charleston International Airport were paused until at least 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. The agency also “closed additional airspace.”

By Kerry Breen | CBS News

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Why the US waited to shoot down the China balloon

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(The Hill) – After a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon spent several days flying across the U.S. this week, the U.S. military shot down the aircraft off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. President Biden said on Saturday that he had ordered the military to down the balloon “as soon as possible” after he was briefed on the matter on Wednesday. The decision raised questions on timing, as lawmakers and industry pundits had pushed the Biden administration to take care of it much sooner.

By Julia Shapero | The Hill

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BARR: The Great Chinese Spy Balloon Caper Of 2023

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First things first. The Biden administration is weak, ineffective, and indecisive in its handling of America’s foreign and national security affairs. Based on its record so far, it would be easy, and likely accurate, to conclude that in handling the Great China Spy Balloon Caper of 2023, Team Biden showed itself to be weak, ineffective, and indecisive. Simply criticizing the administration for failing to shoot down the Chinese balloon earlier during the course of the wind-borne vehicle’s leisurely trek across America, however, misses important policy aspects of this episode.

By Bob Barr | Daily Caller

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Pentagon Press Secretary Disputes China’s Claim That Balloon Is Civilian Airship

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The Biden administration on Friday disputed Chinese officials’ claims that a suspected spy balloon discovered in U.S. airspace is merely a civilian airship that was blown off course. Chinese officials confirmed Friday that the balloon is indeed theirs, but claimed it’s a civilian airship used for weather research. “The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

By Brittany Bernstein | National Review

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Thank you for reading this week’s On Aviation™ digest. What are your thoughts on the ‘Chinese spy balloon’ trek across the United States? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and remember to continue the conversation on our Twitter and Instagram.

Orlando – On Aviation™


Note: The views and opinions expressed in the content shared in this digest are for informational purposes only, are solely those of the original content creators, and do not constitute an endorsement by or necessarily represent the views of On Aviation™ or its affiliates.

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