View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
January 18, 2022

US airlines raise concerns over 5G service at airports

The FAA cautioned carriers that a potential interference could impact sensitive aeroplane instruments including altimeters.

The CEOs of major airline companies in the US have voiced concerns over the implementation of new 5G technology by telecommunication firms AT&T and Verizon at airports as it could lead to the grounding of some aeroplanes.

According to Reuters, the airline companies, which include both passenger and cargo carriers, warned that deploying the new C-Band 5G service could lead to a ‘catastrophic’ aviation crisis.

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave clearance to nearly 45% of the commercial fleet in the US to carry out low-visibility landings at airports where 5G C-Band will be installed from 19 January 2022.

The FAA also warned the carriers that a potential interference could impact sensitive aeroplane instruments including altimeters and may significantly impact low-visibility operations.

“Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the travelling and the shipping public will essentially be grounded,” according to a letter written by the CEOs of Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines that was first reported by Reuters.

The move by the FAA is expected to cause chaos for US flights.

In January last year, AT&T and Verizon won the majority of the C-Band spectrum in auction for $80bn.

The two companies also agreed to create buffer zones across 50 airports in the country with an objective to cut down interference risks for a period of six months.

In a statement on 14 January, the FAA urged Boeing 787 operators to implement extra precautions upon landing on wet or snowy runways at airports with 5G C-band technology.

“During the two-week delay in deploying new 5G service, safety experts determined that 5G interference with the aircraft’s radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway,” the transportation agency stated.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. The airport industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU