Verizon and AT&T have postponed the launch of the new 5G C-Band service twice due to warnings from airlines and aircraft manufacturers concerned that the new communications system would interfere with devices used by aircraft to measure altimeters.
“We are writing to you urgently to request that 5G networks operate everywhere in the country except within approximately two miles of airport runways, as designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FDA) on January 19, 2022,” the company chiefs said in a letter.
The letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and government officials warned of an “economic catastrophe” if Verizon and AT&T continued to deploy the new technology before necessary upgrades and changes to flight equipment were made.
And the Federal Aviation Administration announced, on Sunday, that it had given its approval to operate some transmitting stations within areas in which the fifth generation will be deployed, as “up to 48 of the airports most affected by frequency interference out of 88” were secured.
But airlines fear that the lack of measures covering all airports could cause major disruptions, including stopping thousands of flights, which could halt commercial traffic in the country.
The letter called on the authorities to “take whatever action is necessary to ensure that 5G is not deployed when the towers are too close to airport runways, until the FAA can determine how to do so safely and without catastrophic disruption.”
The letter was signed by the chief executives of the airlines “American”, “United”, “Delta” and “Southwest”, as well as the shipping giants “FedEx” and “UPS”.
Verizon and AT&T have won billions of dollars in contracts to operate 5G networks in the United States, but the project has been delayed twice due to warnings from airlines and aircraft manufacturers.
And in the event that no agreement is reached with the airlines or the federal authorities freeze the work of telecom companies, it is scheduled to start operating the fifth generation service nationwide on January 19.
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