AP

Airline trade group seeks delay in 5G communications launch

Dec 31, 2021, 2:47 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2022, 4:25 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. airlines are asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay next week’s scheduled rollout of new 5G wireless service near dozens of major airports, saying it could interfere with electronics that pilots rely on.

Airlines for America, a trade group for large U.S. passenger and cargo carriers, said in an emergency filing that the FCC has failed to adequately consider the harm that 5G service could do to the industry.

The group wants more time for the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates airlines, to resolve issues around aviation safety related to a type of 5G service called C-Band.

AT&T and Verizon Communications previously agreed to a one-month delay in 5G, which provides faster speeds when mobile devices connect to their networks and allows users to connect many devices to the internet without slowing it down.

Late Friday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson wrote to the CEOs of AT&T and Verizon to propose a delay in activating 5G C-band service near an undetermined number of “priority airports” while the FAA studies the potential for interference with aircraft operations.

Buttigieg and Dickson said forging ahead with next week’s activation “will result in widespread and unacceptable disruption as airplanes divert to other cities or flights are canceled,” while a delay around certain airports would have minimal short-term impacts.

Verizon spokesman Richard Young said, “We received the letter a short time ago, after 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and we will need some time to review it.”

AT&T spokeswoman Kim Hart Jonson said the company was reviewing the letter.

The airline industry trade group warned of significant damage if the 5G rollout goes ahead near major airports.

“Aircraft will not be able to rely on radio altimeters for numerous flight procedures and thus will not be able to land at certain airports,” the group said in a filing Thursday. Radio altimeters measure the height of planes above the ground.

A4A, as the group is called, said its 11 member airlines face the need to reroute or cancel “thousands” of flights, resulting in losses topping $1 billion.

The group said the new service will affect all three major airports in the New York City area — LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, New Jersey — as well as O’Hare in Chicago, Logan in Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles International and San Francisco.

The trade group’s general counsel threatened to go to court next week if the FAA does not respond to the group’s request for a delay.

The FAA said in early December that it will restrict pilots from using automated landing systems at certain airports after the rollout of 5G or fifth-generation wireless service because it could interfere with radio altimeters. The FAA declined to comment on the airline group’s filing.

CTIA, a trade group representing the wireless-communications industry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, sided with the airlines, saying Friday that the aviation and telecom industries should work together “to find a safe way to deploy 5G technologies. … We can’t afford to experiment with aviation safety.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

2 hours ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

7 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

8 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

10 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

10 days ago

(Pexels photo)...

Associated Press

Baby in Kansas City, Missouri, dies after her mother mistakenly put her in an oven

An infant in Missouri died when her mother mistakenly put her down for a nap in an oven, a prosecutor said Saturday.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Airline trade group seeks delay in 5G communications launch