In 2011, travel by air set an astonishing record for most domestic and international commercial flights. The global economy has created a need for people to have easy access to hubs. In 2012, a commercial airliner falls over Italy as the Nostradamus Effect causes a drastic change in a pilot’s physiology. As the pilot dies, his carbon off-gassing mutates, producing toxic chemicals that kills the co-pilots. One-hundred and twenty-three passengers die.
The global network nearly vanishes over the next year. Countries enact laws requiring testing of its citizens that violate the policies of the European Nations. Borders close and the world fractures. Travel becomes increasingly difficult and international travel is reduced until only the elite can afford to move between countries.
Airline companies reach bankruptcy and allowing the government to step in and seize control. Within the United States of America, major hubs such as Dullas, O’Hare, LAX, and Logan remain unchanged. With the approval of the President, Genesis Division expands their aeronautic research and implements artificial intelligence into its aircrafts, all but replacing traditional pilots.
The military sees a massive improvement in aircraft technology. Flight capacity increases as airships are developed to transport synthetics. Stealth technology is incorporated to avoid radar detection and in urban models, the ability to hover and maneuver in tight spaces makes them the primary tactic in combat. While improvements in weapons are implemented, these rarely make it onto crafts, as the growing tactic is to use synthetics to overwhelm ground forces.
After the Corruption, air travel is utterly non-existent. With countries enacting strict border patrol, international flights are forbidden. The only aircrafts still used are by the military to monitor domestic troubles. Most notably of these are the smaller crafts utilized by the military’s elite Paladin units. These crafts rely on human-AI hybrid piloting and are suspected of incorporating technology derived from the Children of Nostradamus’s abilities.