According to American Airlines, if the new C-band frequencies were used within a two-mile radius of an airborne aircraft, “catastrophic disruption” to air traffic would occur.
According to a letter from the union to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and aviation authorities, the signals could interfere with devices used to measure flight altitude. This month, they agreed with mobile service providers such as AT&T and Verizon to offer 5G service from January 19.
The president of JetBlue Airways warned his employees of the risks of “significant disruptions that will further strain the already weak air transport system and affect passengers”.
Little data transparency
Until recently, CEO Robin Hayes said there was little data transparency behind the decision to roll out 5G near airports. Concerns have increased about potential interference with aircraft instruments. This move could set back aviation’s recovery from the pandemic.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued permits Sunday allowing flights within 5G use zones with aircraft whose devices are not exposed to 5G interference. This is intended to mitigate any potential impact on flight schedules.
Opposition came from Congress, where the chairs of the transportation and aviation committees were pressing for the introduction to be delayed. Otherwise, there is a risk of “catastrophic turbulence” in the airspace, according to a letter from Democrats Peter DeFazio and Rick Larsen to power.
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