The chief executives of the largest US airlines and carriers on Monday warned of an impending aviation crisis starting Wednesday, when AT&T and Verizon will launch a new 5G mobile phone service. .
Airlines have warned that the use of 5G’s C-band could render a significant number of large aircraft unusable and “prevent tens of thousands of Americans from traveling back abroad.”
“Unless our major air traffic hubs are cleared for flight, the vast majority of passengers and air cargo will stay on the ground,” the presidents of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and other airlines wrote in a letter. the White House, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the Federal Telecommunications Agency (FCC).
The FAA has warned that potential interference could affect sensitive aircraft instruments such as altimeters and impact operations when conditions are of poor visibility.
“This means that on a day like yesterday, more than 1,100 flights and 100,000 passengers would be subject to cancellations, destination changes or delays,” the letter reads.
Action must be taken urgently, the executives said in the letter, also signed by parcel delivery companies UPS Airlines and FedEx Express and airline JetBlue Airways.
“To be blunt, the nation’s commerce is going to stop,” said the executives.
Representatives for Airlines for America, the group that organized the letter’s writing, declined to comment. US government agencies also declined to comment.
AT&T and Verizon, which took nearly all of the C-band in an $80 billion auction last year, agreed Jan. 5G signals on aircraft and accepted other measures to reduce potential risks over six months.
The two operators also agreed to delay the start of the C-band operation by two weeks, until Wednesday, to avoid an aviation crisis.
Airlines want “5G to be rolled out across the country, except in areas that are three to two kilometers from airport runways” in the case of some terminals.
“Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant disruption to passenger air services, logistics chain and medical supply shipments,” the executives said.
Airlines also warned that operating restrictions may not be isolated only in adverse weather situations.
“A number of modern aircraft safety systems will be deemed unusable, causing a much bigger problem than we knew.
The aviation companies added that action is needed to ensure that “5G is deployed, except when towers are very close to airport runways, until the FAA can determine how this can be safely accomplished without catastrophic disruption.”
The FAA said on Sunday that it has freed up about 45% of the US commercial airliner fleet to perform low-visibility landings at many airports where 5G’s C-band will be activated starting Wednesday. Airlines said on Monday that the list did not include many of the country’s major airports.
Reference: CNN Brasil