5G near airports
Members of the US House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Monday urged telecoms operators to delay deploying 5G networks near airports until the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is confident the move is safe.
According to the committee's website, its chairman, Peter Anthony DeFazio (Democrat, for Oregon), has backed the US air carriers' call for the US administration to prohibit the deployment of related facilities within about two miles of the runways of several airports.
"It is clear that a directive from the time of previous US President Donald Trump, passed by the Federal Communications Commission, helped line the pockets of telecommunications companies at the expense of aviation security," the lawmaker said in a statement.
"The FAA, the Federal Communications Commission, industry representatives and relevant stakeholders in the federal government should work to address problematic issues and ensure airspace safety," Congressman Rick Larsen (Democrat, from Washington State) stressed in turn.
Leading US air carriers on Monday urged the federal government to "take immediate action" to prevent widespread disruption to air traffic due to the deployment of 5G connectivity infrastructure near airports.
A letter sent by the airlines to the US Department of Transportation claims that authorities have not confirmed the safe operation of a significant portion of airports and flights once the 5G infrastructure is installed, forcing the flights in question to be cancelled. Concerns have been raised by air carriers that the new equipment uses the same frequencies as a number of devices on board aircraft in its operation.
The Ministry of Transport has previously decided to create buffer zones near some of the country's largest airports where 5G infrastructure will not appear.
Authorities are working to check the safety of flights and those airports where buffer zones are not planned. So far, only about 45% of aircraft have received approval to land in low visibility conditions at such air harbours.
Earlier, US telecom operators AT&T and Verizon agreed at the request of the Ministry of Transport to postpone by two weeks until 19 January the commissioning of 5G cellular networks in the C-band due to concerns about flight safety.