Simple Flying - Andrew Curran
Telcos Verizon and AT&T have once again delayed deploying the 5G technology near airports after a massive backlash from US airlines. On Tuesday, for the third time, both telcos agreed to hold off rolling out 5G within two miles of airports.
Having spent billions acquiring the licenses to use the frequencies, 5G cell phone networks were due to start rolling out across the US on Wednesday. Causing contention was the use of the C-band frequencies near airports where aircraft use nearby frequencies to aid instrument landings.
While both Verizon and AT&T insisted the 5G technology was safe. Verizon noted the technology safely coexisted with the airline industry in over three dozen other countries. But US airlines, lobby groups, and the FAA remained unconvinced. Recent FAA NOTAMs related to the rollout threatened to cause chaos across the airline industry,
“Not enough is known about the way 5G airwaves could potentially interfere with radio altimeter airwaves, and for that reason, the FAA has placed a number of operating restrictions on aircraft, including how and when we can fly into certain airports, particularly in inclement weather,” said American Airlines Chief Operating Officer Henry Harteveldt in a letter to employees on Tuesday. “We anticipate we’ll experience delays, diversions, and cancelations that are well beyond our control.”