US airlines warn of “catastrophic disruption” if 5G deployed near airports

Jan 18, 2022: According to an AFP report, the chief executives of the largest US airlines have warned that if telecommunications firms launch their 5G technology as planned on Wednesday without limiting technology near US airports, travel and aviation operations will be halted. 

The executives warned against “catastrophic disruption” to travel and shipping.

Verizon and AT&T have already twice delayed the launch of their new C-Band 5G service, due to warnings from airlines and aircraft manufacturers that the new system could interfere with devices that measure aircraft altitude.

With roll out that was due to begin at the end of last year, Verizon and AT&T won contracts worth tens of billions of dollars last February to operate 5G in the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequency bands. If the telecomm companies stick to schedules, and they are barred by federal authorities or fail to reach an agreement with airlines, they should be able to turn on their 5G service nationwide on January 19.

According to AFP, in a joint written request,the CEOs wrote a letter, stating, “We are writing with urgency to request that 5G be implemented everywhere in the country except within the approximate two miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA on January 19, 2022,”

Airline Executives wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other U.S. government officials warning of the danger of “economic calamity” if Verizon and AT&T deploy new technology before making the necessary upgrades and changes to aviation equipment. 

“To put it bluntly, the nations commerce will grind to a halt,” he said. The Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday that it has approved the operation of some transponders safely in areas where 5G will be deployed, clearing “as many as 48 of the 88 airports most directly affected by 5G C-Band interference.”

But airlines fear that a large amount of cargo at these airports, along with the rest of the border, is still uncertified, which could lead to a crisis, including the grounding of thousands of flights.

In addition to the Secretary of Transportation, the letter was addressed to the head of the FAA, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, and the White House National Economic Council. US airlines have also protested the possible costs.

The letter was signed by CEOs of major airlines, including American, United, Delta and Southwest, as well as leaders of shipping companies FedEx and UPS.

“Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption in the supply of air passengers, aircraft, supply chains and essential medical supplies,” they wrote. The letter goes on to say, “Apart from the chaos at the national level, the lack of certified aircraft could potentially trap tens of thousands of Americans abroad.”

They called on authorities to “take whatever action necessary to ensure that 5G is deployed except when towers are too close to airport runways until the FAA can determine how that can be safely accomplished without catastrophic disruption.”

The FAA meanwhile issued a brief statement Monday, apparently seeking to allay concerns about the impact of the 5G rollout on aviation, but did not announce any concrete further steps in the process. “With safety as its primary mission, the FAA will continue to ensure that the public traveling is safe as wireless companies deploy 5G,” the agency said.

The agency said that FAA continues to work with the aviation industry and wireless companies to limit delays and cancellations of flights because of 5G.

Stay tuned to BaaghiTV for latest news and Updates!

US FAA publishes notices detailing impact of 5G wireless service on aircraft electronics

Fire on Abu Dhabi Airport results in disruption for flight operations

US condemns UAE Houthi attack, vows to hold rebels accountable for “terrorist attack”