US airlines consider cancelling flights over 5G concerns

Aircraft tail fin in clouds
By Lisa James
18/01/2022
Home » US airlines consider cancelling flights over 5G concerns

US airlines are considering cancelling some inbound international flights amid concerns ‘C-Band’ 5G technology being rolled out this week could interfere with aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said C-Band 5G networks set to be rolled out by AT&T and Verizon in the US on Wednesday could affect sensitive electronics.

The FAA warns there is potential for interference with vital aircraft instruments, such as radio altimeters that tell pilots their altitude as they fly in low visibility. 

US carriers say the 5G rollout could ground aircraft and cause chaos.

A letter signed by CEOs of airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines warns: “Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the travelling and shipping public will essentially be grounded.”

Mobile operators have disputed the fears but have agreed to a range of measures, including buffer zones.

The Civil Aviation Authority says there is no evidence that gives cause for concern.

The CAA said: “There have been no reported incidents of aircraft systems being affected by 5G transmissions in UK airspace, but we are nonetheless working with Ofcom and the Ministry of Defence to make sure that the deployment of 5G in the UK does not cause any technical problems for aircraft.”

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