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January 3, 2022

Airlines for America seeks to delay 5G wireless rollout near airports

The installation might restrict cellular transmissions around airports.

Airlines for America, a trade association for passenger and cargo carriers, has filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking a halt in the deployment of new 5G wireless service near several US airports.

The move comes after the aviation industry and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have raised concerns that 5G technology may disrupt the functioning of critical aircraft safety systems affecting flight services, reported Reuters.

In an emergency FCC petition, Airlines for America said: “Aircraft will not be able to rely on radio altimeters for numerous flight procedures and thus will not be able to land at certain airports.”

The group, which is waiting for FCC’s decision, is also ready to ‘seek judicial or other relief’ to avoid ‘immediate and unacceptable safety risks’.

Airlines for America expects FCC and FAA to work together to resolve the issues.

Meanwhile, Verizon and AT&T rejected US government’s request to postpone the rollout of C-Band spectrum 5G wireless service.

The companies are set on 5 January to install the wireless technology that they secured in a government auction worth $80bn.

Previously, AT&T and Verizon postponed the commercial launch of C-band wireless service by a month until 5 January.

The firms also undertook precautionary actions to limit interference.

However, aviation industry groups said that the measures are not sufficient as the installation would restrict cellular transmissions around airports and other critical zones.

Wireless industry group CTIA stated that 5G is safe and the spectrum is currently in use in nearly 40 other nations.

It further told the news agency that FCC has assessed and rejected the concerns nearly two years ago after an exhaustive review.

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