Airlines are asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay the planned deployment of a new 5G wireless service near dozens of major airports, saying it could pose a security risk by interfering with the electronics on which the pilots count.
Airlines for America, a trade group representing major US passenger and freight carriers, made the request Thursday in an emergency case. He warned that thousands of flights could be disrupted, causing more than $ 1 billion in losses, and said the FCC had not sufficiently considered the damage 5G service could cause to the industry.
“Planes will not be able to rely on radio altimeters for many flight procedures and therefore will not be able to land at some airports,” the group said in the filing.
Radio altimeters measure the height of airplanes above the ground.
The group said the new service would affect the three major airports in the New York area – LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, New Jersey – and others, including O’Hare in Chicago and Logan in Boston.
It is asking the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates airlines, for extra time to resolve aviation safety concerns with a type of 5G service called C-Band.
The FCC declined to comment.
AT&T and Verizon Communications plan to roll out the C-Band spectrum wireless service on Jan. 5, to which they secured the rights by agreeing to pay more than $ 80 million at a government auction.
The two mobile carriers previously agreed to a one-month deadline for rolling out 5G, which offers faster internet speeds and allows users to connect more devices to the internet without slowing it down.
On Friday night, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson called on AT&T and Verizon to delay their plans, citing safety concerns for flight operations.
Buttigieg and Dickson said in a letter to senior company officials that continued activation “will lead to widespread and unacceptable disruption as planes divert to other cities or flights are canceled,” while a delay around of some airports would have a minimal short circuit. term effects.
Spokesmen for the two mobile operators said they were considering the request.
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