Sunday December 04, 2022

FAA estimates 78 percent of US planes can now land at airports with 5G C-band

The FAA announced that “estimated 78% of the U.S. commercial aircraft” have been allowed to land at airports equipped with 5G C band, even in low-visibility conditions. After a week of controversy around the rollout of AT&T’s upgraded cellular tech and Verizon’s, the FAA has announced that an “estimated 78 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet” have been cleared to land at airports with 5G C-band. There are many precautions to prevent this from happening, such as creating buffer zones around airports. However, an incorrect altimeter reading can cause serious problems during low-visibility landings.
The FAA stated that planes equipped with 5G technology will not be allowed to land at airports that have not been tested and cleared them. Our explanation of the situation, which explains in detail the confusion and last-minute changes, can be found here.
The agency announced on January 16th that it had cleared two altimeters. It bumped this up to five on Wednesday. The agency stated that the altimeters had been installed in “some” planes such as the Boeing 737, 747 and 777. The FAA modified that language on Thursday. It stated that the 13 cleared altimeters should be applicable to “all” Boeing 717s, 747s, 757s, 767s, 777, 777, MD-10/-11 and Airbus A300, A310 and A319 models. It also noted that Embraer 170, 190 regional jets are included.
The FAA still believes that some altimeters will not pass the test and may be “too susceptible” to 5G interference. These planes won’t be permitted to land at airports equipped with 5G tech in low visibility conditions. This could hinder airlines from scheduling flights using these planes to airports of particular concern due to the unpredictable weather and disruption that such a diversion could cause.
The carriers are disappointed with the FAA’s handling of the situation. Their rollouts have been delayed numerous times. On Tuesday, AT&T released a statement criticizing the FAA’s inability to do what nearly forty countries have done: safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting air traffic. Verizon issued a similar statement, which also mentioned rollouts in other countries.
The FAA’s complete statement on 5G can be found on its page under the heading “FAA Statements about 5G”.

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