What you need to know: 5G and flight disruptions in the U.S.

The rollout of 5G mobile services across the United States has raised concern in the aviation and travel industry that the signals could interfere with sensitive aircraft instruments. A “What you need to know” report from BCD Travel Research & Innovation considers the issues surrounding 5G deployment in the U.S. and its potential interference with airport communication tools.

The 5G issue

In telecommunications, 5G is a fifth-generation technology for broadband cellular networks developed to deliver higher data speeds. Airline industry group Airlines for America (A4A) petitioned the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in early January to delay the initiation of 5G service at around 135 airports, citing concerns that 5G signals may interfere with sensitive aircraft instruments, particularly radio altimeters, aviation devices that measure plane height and support landing.

Wireless industry defends 5G

The wireless telecommunications industry has defended 5G technology, claiming it operates safely and without causing harmful interference to aviation operations. The technology has already been rolled out in nearly 40 countries around the world, including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and New Zealand.

5G causes flight delays

Amid confusion, international airlines briefly cancelled flights to the U.S. Jan. 19, then resumed normal services following assurance from the Federal Aviation Administration that there were no issues with certain aircraft. The telecom companies have temporarily deferred the activation of a limited number of transmission towers around certain airport

Download the report for full details.

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