Urgent warning 5G service rollout could cause 'CATASTROPHIC' disruption to aircraft within DAYS, carriers say
A 5G SERVICE rollout could cause "catastrophic" disruption to aircraft in just a matter of days, carriers are urgently warning.
JetBlue Airways Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes shared a memo on Monday to company employees warning about how the new AT&T and Verizon service could affect airlines.
In the January 17 warning, Hayes said the change will "further stress our already fragile air system.
He said the airline is preparing for the "worst" when the new flight restrictions and services are implemented.
"While we will do our best to avoid customer disruption, we won’t be able to avoid the impact of this, including significant flight delays, cancellations, and diversions in low visibility flying," the CEO wrote in the memo.
Haye's said the 5G frequency being rolled out is "used by aircraft radar altimeters — the devices that measure altitude when our aircraft are closest to the ground and that are used by a number of the other aircraft systems."
He added: "Because of the potential for interference between the cellular signal and these altimeters, the FAA has issued 1,500 Notices To Air Missions (NOTAMs) that will prevent the use of most of our precision approach capabilities during periods of reduced visibility and bad weather at a large number of airports across the U.S. where final approach is in close proximity to 5G antennas.
"These NOTAMs cover some of our busiest airports such as JFK, BOS, MCO, and LAX."
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Airlines for America has also made an effort to prevent "harmful impacts on the aviation industry."
The group sent a letter, dated January 17, to the White House's National Economic Council director Brian Deese, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
"We are writing with urgency to request that 5G be implemented everywhere in the country except within the approximate 2 miles of airport runways at affected airports as defined by the FAA on January 19, 2022," the letter reads.
"This will allow 5G to be deployed while avoiding harmful impacts on the aviation industry, traveling public, supply chain, vaccine distribution, our workforce and broader economy. "
Airlines for America has urged for "immediate intervention" to prevent "significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies."
They are asking the FAA to identify any 5G base stations near important airport runways "that need to be addressed to ensure safety."
United Airlines said the current 5G rollout plan will have a "devastating impact on aviation."
In a Monday statement, the airline said 5G signals could interfere with key safety equipment that pilots rely on.
The Federal Aviation Administration has also commented on the issue.
FAA News released the following statement on Monday "With safety as its core mission, the FAA will continue to ensure that the traveling public is safe as wireless companies deploy 5G.
"The FAA continues to work with the aviation industry and wireless companies to try to limit 5G-related flight delays and cancellations.”
Back in December, Verizon and AT&T agreed to delay the launch of 5G near airports two weeks after concerns that it could make planes unsafe.
In a joint letter to US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the CEOs of Boeing and Airbus had urged president Joe Biden to support postponing AT&T and Verizon's planned deployment of C-Band spectrum 5G wireless planned for January 5.
Officials warned that the new service could lead to widespread flight delays in snowstorms and issues with landings in poor visibility.
The warning notes that the new signals could interfere with equipment on planes and helicopters that track aircraft altitude, which could disrupt landings in poor visibility and lead to more delays, diversions, and cancelations.
The new 5G signals will work in airwaves nearby those used by radar altimeters, which determine altitude by bouncing radio waves off the ground, according to Bloomberg.
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