(NEXSTAR) – Federal officials have identified 50 US airports that will have a “buffer zone” as wireless companies turn on 5G service in the coming weeks. The services will use frequencies in the so-called C-band radio spectrum, which has raised concerns because it could affect flight operations.
Following requests from both a major airline trade group – Airlines of America – and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Stephen Dickson, the recent head of the Federal Aviation Administration, AT&T and Verizon delay rollout of new 5G service.
U.S. airlines told the Federal Communications Commission that using C-band 5G near dozens of airports could interfere with aircraft altimeter devices. Buttigieg and Dickson warned that without the delay there would be “unacceptable disruption” to aviation as flights would be canceled or diverted to other cities to avoid potential risks to with aviation safety.
On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration released a list of 50 airports across the country that will have buffer zones when 5G is rolled out by wireless carriers later this month. Buffer zones are intended to reduce the risk of aircraft equipment such as a ship’s altimeter and altimeter being affected by possible interference.
The altimeter is important for low visibility landing flights. Follow FAA, aircraft will be required to have altimeters “proven to be accurate and reliable in US 5G C-band environments.”
The list Airports that will have 5G buffer zones include airports in New York, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Las Vegas. Airports are selected based on traffic volume, low visibility days, and geographic location. These buffers will only protect the last 20 seconds of flight, according to FAA.
Many airports are currently unaffected by 5G. For airports not on the list, the FAA said it “doesn’t necessarily mean” low visibility flights are unlikely. In some cases, like Denver International Airport, 5G has yet to be rolled out. For others, the FAA says 5G towers are far enough away to create a natural buffer zone.
Wireless carriers now plan to enable C-band 5G service on January 19.
https://kfor.com/news/u-s-world/faa-releases-list-of-50-airports-to-have-5g-buffer-zones/ FAA publishes list of 50 airports with 5G buffer zone