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5G could interfere with thousands of New York flights, forcing cancellations, airline leaders say

5G could interfere with thousands of New York flights, forcing cancellations, airline leaders say.

NEW YORK – You can add advanced broadband reception on cell phones and other devices to the ever-growing list of factors causing airline delays and cancellations.

That’s what airline trade groups are saying as they dispute with the nation’s largest cell phone providers about the potential dangers that 5G broadband use can have anywhere near airports.

It is of particular concern, according to the airline industry, in the places with the highest number of flights. The New York City region, with its three international airports, has the largest number of flights in the country.

Trade and labor groups Airlines for America, the Airline Pilots Association, and the Association of Flight Attendants criticized decisions by Verizon and AT&T to continue with a Jan.5 deadline to begin activating 5G networks in places that include areas near airports.

The January 5 date was the result of an agreement between airline industry organizations and cell phone service providers. Last month, they agreed to postpone the 5G rollout for a month, starting on December 5.

Still, after that hiatus for the $ 80 billion effort, federal regulators are warning that problems may persist. Specifically, Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, and Steve Dickson, the FAA administrator, sent a letter to the CEOs of the two communications companies, saying that it is still possible that the 5G expansion “… will result in a widespread and unacceptable disruption as planes are diverted to other cities or flights canceled”

It’s because airplanes use sensitive radar devices called altimeters to know how far off the ground they are. The devices use a broadband spectrum, or communications transmission, similar to receiving 5G phones, according to airline industry leaders and federal regulators, many of whom are concerned about transmission interference causing problems. take-off and landing.

For their part, AT&T and Verizon point out that the 5G network has been installed in French cities that are similar to New York, where there is significant air traffic.

“The laws of physics are the same in the United States and France” wrote the CEOs of Verizon and AT&T in a letter to federal regulators. “If American airlines are allowed to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the United States.”

Peter Shankman is a communications expert, author, futurist, and member of NASA’s advisory board. It has attachments to both the aerospace side and the broadband side of the 5G topic. Shankman said the CEO letter, signed by John Stankey of AT&T and Hans Vestberg of Verizon, and apparently written by Vestberg, made sense.

“As rude as he was to say that, he’s right,” Shankman said of the use of 5G in France. “It is the same technology.”

Shankman expressed confidence that some kind of middle ground can be struck, but also said that forward momentum is important, as the 5G that most Americans now have on their phones may not be as fast and comprehensive as they think.

“It is a form of 5G,” Shankman said. “Having used 5G in Asia, I can tell you that the speeds that we are getting here are not pure 5G. They are a good start, but we have some time.

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