U.S. mobile communications providers AT&T and Verizon Communications initially did not operate 5G transmission masts at major U.S. airports, as their frequency could affect the braking distance of modern aircraft on wet or icy runways. This was reported by Reuters.
US President Joe Biden praised the agreement, saying, according to Reuters, “it will avoid catastrophic disruptions to passenger and cargo aviation and our economic recovery – will keep more than 90 per cent of cell towers on the table.”
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAAu) has updated the list of airports that can use aircraft with previously approved altitude measurement technology. These include New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports, Los Angeles, Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway, San Francisco and Seattle airports.
In addition, the FAA wants to update the list of aircraft types with appropriate equipment – which will reduce the impact of about 1,500 incidents with 5G restrictions on air traffic, the commission said.
Nonetheless, it said air traffic would be further disrupted by transmission masts already in operation. Airlines United Airlines has announced that a three-hour delay on a flight from Denver to Houston has been caused by the new 5G system. The FAA had previously warned that 5G radio interference could dramatically affect critical aviation equipment such as altimeters and low-vision aircraft maneuvers.
According to Verizon, about 500 transmission masts near airports have been affected.
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