US airlines say 5G rollout could keep planes grounded – E24

Top executives from America’s biggest airlines are warning ahead of the nation’s 5G rollout that the technology must be limited near airports to avoid major problems.

Top executives from America’s biggest airlines are warning ahead of the nation’s 5G rollout that the technology must be limited near airports to avoid major problems. The deployment is expected to take place as early as Wednesday.
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There could be “catastrophic disruption” to both travel and freight if telecom companies roll out 5G technology on Wednesday, as planned, says the letter, which AFP has obtained access to.

Telecommunications companies Verizon and AT&T have already postponed the launch of 5G service twice after airlines and aircraft manufacturers warned that the new system could cause problems with equipment used by planes to measure altitude.

– Economic disaster

Leaders are calling for 5G to be rolled out everywhere in the United States except within a little over 2 miles of runways at airports nationwide. The letter is signed by the chief executives of the largest American airlines: American, United, Delta and Southwest.

They say in the letter, which is addressed to Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg, among others, that it could be an “economic disaster” if the rollout takes place before the necessary updates and equipment modifications have been made. brought.

– To put it bluntly: the nation’s trade will come to a halt, says the letter, which is also signed by shipping companies FedEx and UPS.

Deployed Wednesday

The FAA said Sunday that certain transponders are safe to use in areas where 5G will be used. 48 of the 88 airports most exposed to 5G disruptions have been approved.

Airlines fear that the remaining restrictions at these airports, combined with the fact that large amounts of equipment have not been approved, could lead to a crisis. Thousands of planes could be grounded, they think.

Verizon and AT&T won the tender to operate 5G in the frequency between 3.7 and 3.98 GHz, and the rollout was scheduled to begin Dec. 5. If it is not blocked by the federal authorities, or if the telecommunications companies agree with the airlines on an agreement, the network will be started Wednesday on the whole of the United States.

Alec Dittman

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