WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday urged the chief executives of major U.S. airlines to move quickly to address risks from a 5G wireless rollout, in a bid to avoid potential disruptions at key airports from next month.
Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a letter reviewed by Reuters that AT&T (T.N) and Verizon (VZ.N) want to boost C-Band 5G services around some airports starting in July after previously delaying their rollout. Concerns that the 5G service could interfere with airplane altimeters, which give data on a plane’s height above the ground and are crucial for bad-weather landing, led to disruptions at some U.S. airports earlier this year. Nolen urged airlines to urgently press ahead with retrofitting radio altimeters, saying “there are no guarantees that all large markets will retain the current (safeguards).” He warned that as wireless carriers boost signals some “less capable aircraft” may be unable to access certain airports without altimeter retrofits.
Airlines CEOs on Jan. 17 had warned of an impending “catastrophic” aviation crisis that could have grounded almost all traffic because of the 5G deployment. Under White House pressure, AT&T and Verizon days later in January agreed to delay through July 5 switching on some wireless towers and depowering others near airports just hours before the planned Jan. 19 deployment. That date, Nolen wrote Wednesday “is rapidly approaching.”
FULL ARTICLE: https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/exclusive-faa-urges-airlines-act-wireless-carriers-plan-5g-signal-boost-2022-06-15/?mkt_tok=ODUwLVRBQS01MTEAAAGFGyIX-pfDIv727ATHt29M5SkxUDTS5k7n5lG3lko_7p-LuzALziPojrV6TLGUH4ripAvWClzfiTBLfq1pVhZMewVnNfupkmE7Kd61niVZ4DW2