Fears concerning interference with aircraft altimeters have been raised by aviation organizations and the FAA. Aviation and telecom groups said Wednesday they will share data to help resolve safety concerns related to the new 5G wireless service, which Verizon Communications and AT&T are slated to roll out on Jan. 5.
“We are pleased that after productive discussions we will be working together to share the available data from all parties to identify the specific areas of concern for aviation,” wireless trade group CTIA, Airlines for America, and the Aerospace Industries Association said in a joint statement.
The CTIA has stated that the service update will not interfere with those altimeters and that other countries have successfully implemented 5G.
“The FAA is encouraged that avionics manufacturers and wireless companies are taking steps to test how dozens of radio altimeters will perform in the high-powered 5G environment envisioned for the United States,” the agency said in a statement.
Last week, airline executives warned of significant flight delays as a result of the problem. If such flight cancellations occur, they will come as the airline sector attempts to regain from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If we go back to decades-old procedures and technology for flying airplanes, cancel thousands of flights per day … it will be a catastrophic failure of government,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told reporters after a Senate hearing on Dec. 15.
Boeing and Airbus CEOs wrote to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Monday to express their support for delaying the 5G deployment and to suggest restricting cell broadcasts near airports where radio altimeters would be used.