US FAA clears 45% of commercial aircraft fleet after 5G rollout

Band David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, January 16 (Reuters)The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Sunday it has cleared about 45% of the U.S. commercial jet fleet for low-visibility landings at many airports where C-band 5G will be deployed from of Wednesday.

The FAA has warned that potential interference could affect sensitive aircraft instruments such as altimeters and impact low-visibility operations.

The FAA has approved two radio altimeter models used in many Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including certain Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, MD-10/-11 and Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330 and A350. The announcement came a few days before AT&T NT and Verizon VZ.N launch a new 5G service on Wednesday. The FAA said it expects to issue more approvals in the coming days.

The FAA said the aircraft and altimeter approvals open “runways at as many as 48 of the 88 airports most directly impacted by C-band 5G interference.” But the agency warned that “even with these new approvals, flights at some airports could still be affected”.

AT&T and Verizon, which won almost all of the

C-band spectrum at an $80 billion auction last year, Jan. 3

agreed on buffer zones around 50 airports to reduce

risks of interference and take other steps to reduce potential interference for six months. They also agreed to delay the deployment for two weeks, avoiding an aviation security stalemate.

The FAA on Thursday issued nearly 1,500 notices detailing

the magnitude of the potential impact of 5G services.

“The FAA also continues to work with manufacturers to understand how radar altimeter data is used in other flight control systems. Passengers should check with their airlines to see if weather is forecast at a destination where 5G interference is possible,” the FAA said Sunday.

On January 7, the FAA announced the 50 US airports that

have 5G buffer zones, including New York, Los Angeles,

Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia,

Seattle and Miami.

Thursday, Airports Council International – North America

urged delaying 5G implementation to avoid widespread disruption

throughout the US air transportation system.

On Friday, the FAA said it would require Boeing 787 operators to take extra precautions when landing.

on some wet or snowy tracks. The FAA said 5G interference could prevent engines and braking systems from switching to landing mode, which could prevent planes from stopping on the runway.

(Reporting by David Shepardson editing by Nick Zieminski and Gerry Doyle)

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