Airlines Warn 5G Services will cause Major Disruption to Flights

Major U.S. air carriers warned that plans by wireless carriers to use spectrum for 5G wireless services. AT&T (T.N) and Verizon Communications (VZ.N) must delay the plans to use C-Band spectrum for 5G wireless services, United Airlines, Chief Executive Scott Kirby said following a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing, saying it could delay, divert or cancel about 4% of daily flights and impact hundreds of thousands of passengers.

These stories all come to mind as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has objected to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authorization to use newly opened airwaves for 5G networks. Their concern is that the 5G signals could possibly interfere with the radio altimeters used in automated aircraft landings.

The 5G-aviation safety issue combines the two most important components of public policy decision-making: public safety and national security. No one can question the importance of the safety of passengers on commercial and private aircraft. Similarly, everyone recognizes that the United States is in a technological horse race with China, which has been able to reap the rewards of its embrace of 5G networks.

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