The top ten US airlines have warned that the imminent rollout of 5G mobile internet services will cause “significant interference” to flights.
According to them, the start of 5G services by Verizon and AT&T, planned for Wednesday, the 19th, would lead to an “absolutely avoidable economic disaster.”
Companies fear that C-band 5G signals will disrupt aircraft navigation systems, especially those used in bad weather. This warning came in a letter to the US aviation authorities.
In it, the chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, among others, said: “Immediate intervention is necessary to avoid significant operational disruption to flight passengers, carriers, the supply chain and the delivery of necessary medical supplies,” including vaccine distribution.
The BBC has access to the letter that lists pressing concerns for companies. The document was sent to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, as well as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the chair of the Federal Communications Commission and the director of the National Economic Council.
According to the BBC, negotiations are continuing at the highest levels of the US government over what has been described as a “very uncertain situation”.
Airlines want to exclude 5G signals from “the approximately two miles of runways at affected airports, as defined by the FAA on January 19, 2022.”
“This will allow the adoption of 5G, while avoiding adverse impacts on the aviation industry, the mobile public, supply chains, vaccine distribution, our workforce, and the economy as a whole.”
“We also urge the FAA to immediately identify base stations closest to major airport runways that need maintenance to ensure safety and prevent disruption,” the executives added.
These concerns were recently raised by the two major aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, in a rare joint alert.
The airline group said: “Aircraft manufacturers have told us there are huge portions of the fleet in operation that may have to be shut down indefinitely. Of Americans stranded abroad.”
In a statement on Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration, which manages aviation security across the United States, said it had “liberated approximately 45% of the US commercial fleet to perform low-sight landings at several airports where C-band 5G will be implemented.”
The FAA said it had approved “the installation of two prototype radio altimeters on a variety of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.” However, the regulator said that “even with these new approvals, flights at some airports may still be affected.”
Federal Aviation said, “The FAA also continues to work with manufacturers to understand how data from the radar altimeter is used in other flight control systems. Passengers should check with their airlines for weather forecasts at their destination where 5G interference is possible.” Administration.
Phone companies have invested billions of dollars in modernizing their networks to implement 5G technology, which provides much faster internet services and better connectivity.
There have already been many delays in getting the 5G system started due to concerns from the airline industry – the service launch was suspended in December and early January.
CTIA, the US wireless industry group, says 5G is secure and accuses the airline industry of spreading fear and distorting facts. “Delaying adoption will do real damage. Delaying adoption by a year will cost $50 billion in lost economic growth, just as our nation recovers and rebuilds after the pandemic,” Meredith Atwell Becker, chief executive of CTIA, said in a statement. Text posted to a blog in November 2021.
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