The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a list of 50 U.S. airports that will have buffer zones when 5G C-band service is activated on January 19 by cellular operators.
“FAA’s efforts to implement mitigations for airports that may be most impacted by disruptions generated by the deployment of new 5G service,” stated Airlines for America, a trade organization representing U.S. passenger and freight carriers.
By agreeing to buffer zones surrounding 50 airports, AT&T and Verizon Communications could decrease the possibility of altimeter interference. Delaying deployment for two weeks also avoided a conflict over aviation safety.
Airports in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Miami are all included in the list of airports on this page.
According to the FAA, low-visibility flights can still take place at airports that aren’t on the list of 50.
Last year’s C-Band spectrum auction winners AT&T and Verizon did not respond to requests for comment.
The 5G rollout, even with the temporary buffer surrounding 50 airports, will mean “flight cancellations, diverted flights, and delays during periods of low visibility,” the agency warns.
Due to the lack of 5G deployment at several major airports such as Denver, Atlanta, and Ronald Reagan Washington National, they have not been included in this year’s list.
According to the FAA, limited visibility landings are currently not permitted at any other airports. Instead, it explained that the extra time would be used to assess potential delays and better prepare businesses.
FAA officials said they are compelled to halt any operation that might risk the flying public until they can establish safety.
This poorly planned and coordinated growth of 5G coverage in and around airports is set to have a negative influence on the whole aviation industry, according to ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin Burke. He heads the group representing U.S. and Canadian airports.
Burke added that the “so-called fix will create winners and losers within the airport community, and the entire aviation system will suffer under the terms of this deal.”