Airlines say 5G will create ‘economic calamity’ — Analysis
Shippers and major airlines made last-ditch appeals to stop 5G’s rollout at US airports
Some of the US’ largest commercial and cargo airlines have sounded alarms about potentially “devastating” effects of 5G service around airports, saying the technology could effectively grind travel and shipping to a halt.
Airlines for America – a lobbying group that represents JetBlue, American Airlines, Southwest, United, Delta, UPS and FedEx, among others – issued a letterMonday was Monday, when the government warned that the 5G 5G-C-Band service could severely impact aircraft operations in the country. “completely avoidable economic calamity.”
“Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded,”According to the report, up to 1100 flights and 100 000 passengers could face delays or cancellations each day.
The ripple effects across both passenger and cargo operations, our workforce and the broader economy are simply incalculable… To be blunt, the nation’s commerce will grind to a halt.
While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has acknowledged the new cell network could interfere with key aircraft systems – namely radio altimeters, which help pilots land in low visibility – as of Sunday the agency said it had cleared less than half of the US fleet to operate alongside C-Band towers. Just days prior to a scheduled rollout for January 19, the latest update followed many delays caused by ongoing safety concerns.
The airlines however stressed that interference extends beyond just one system as altimeters. “provide critical information to other safety and navigation systems in modern airplanes,”That could translate to “huge swaths of the operating fleet”Are “indefinitely grounded”Until the problems are solved.
Although the airlines opposed a rush to 5G rollout and pressed the FAA, telecom companies, for delays, they stated that the issues are not their fault. “substantially worse than… originally anticipated,”They discovered recently that major airports would be subject to flight restrictions starting January 19.
The other important aspects of the “chaos”According to the companies, these restrictions will affect US air passengers, US shippers, supply chains, and delivery of required medical supplies. “lack of usable widebody aircraft could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas.”
They urged regulators to stop the building of new 5G towers less than 2 miles from select airports. “determine how that can be safely accomplished without catastrophic disruption.”
Verizon and AT&T are spearheading the C-Band rollout, after winning some $80 billion in contracts to install the tech last year. While the telecoms have agreed to create temporary ‘buffer zones’ around 50 major airports to give aviators time to reduce interference risks, the measure has failed to appease airlines, who continue to demand for further delays.
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