Several top US airlines executives warned on Monday, Jan 17, of on-coming “catastrophic” aviation crisis that will hit on Wednesday, when AT&T & Verizon activate their new 5G services, according to a Reuters report.
In a letter obtained by Reuters, the CEOs of several passenger & cargo airlines in the US, including Delta, United & Southwest Airlines, warned that signals from the 2 companies’ new C Band 5G cell towers could disrupt navigation & safety equipment on their planes.
United States airline executives claim public will be grounded by 5G Services
“Unless our major hubs are cleared to-fly, the vast majority of traveling & shipping public will be essentially grounded,” the executives said in their letter, which was sent to many government organizations, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). . & the White House Economic Council. “Immediate intervention is required to avoid significant disruption to air-passengers, the supply chain & the delivery of necessary medical supplies.
The FAA had previously warned that 5G interference could affect sensitive aircraft instruments & cause widespread disruption, particularly in low-visibility operations caused by bad weather. The letter said that on a day of poor visibility, “more than 1,100 flights & 100,000 passengers would be canceled, diverted or delayed due to interference caused by 5G signals.”
Airline executives said urgent action was needed and that AT&T & Verizon should not activate 5G towers within 2 miles of any of country busiest airports. The letter says 5G should be “deployed except when towers are too close to airport runways until the FAA can determine how it can be done safely without catastrophic disruption.”
Aviation Industry VS 5G
In January 2021, AT&T, TMobile & Verizon spent nearly $80 billion to buy C-Band spectrum needed for their 5G services from Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Last November, those airlines agreed to delay activating their services to allow the FAA to adequately address concern of aviation interference. Another 2 week delay was announced on January 4th.
In a November blog post, Meredith Attwell Baker, CEO of US-based wireless industry group CTIA, stated that further delay to rollout of 5G “will do real damage. A one-year delay in deployment would rob $50 billion of economic growth just as our nation recovers & rebuilds from the pandemic.” Baker also said that “there is no valid scientific or technical basis to justify a delay.
According to a BBC report, ongoing negotiations at the highest level of the United States government have been described as “very fluid”. In light of these talks, the US government must quickly weigh the commercial interests of the aviation industry & telecommunications companies against back-drop of country plagued by travel disruption in recent months & years.