F.A.A. Says It Has Reached a Deal Over 5G Service at Airports

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it has reached an agreement with Verizon and AT&T on ways to expand 5G cellular service, allowing more aircraft to land safely at airports across the country, cooling the heated dispute between wireless providers and airlines.

On the issue, there were concerns from airlines and the FAA that the planned nationwide 5G expansion would endanger flight safety. The new generation of 5G service, which provides faster access to the Internet, uses so-called C-band frequencies, close to the part of the airwaves used by major security devices.

A day before the planned expansion last week, AT&T and Verizon agreed on a compromise: they would continue the rollout, but at the request of the aviation industry, some airports would not activate 5G within two miles of the runway. The FAA’s announcement on Friday indicates that all sides are moving towards a more lasting solution.

The FAA said in a statement that it appreciates the “strong communications” and collaboration of wireless companies, which it said provided more accurate data on the location of wireless transmitters and helped in-depth analysis of how 5G signals interact with sensitive aircraft. Did. Tools

“The FAA has used this data to determine if it is possible to safely and more accurately map the size and shape of areas around airports where 5G signals are reduced, shrinking areas where wireless operators are suspending their antenna activation. The agency said. “This will enable wireless providers to turn more towers securely as they deploy new 5G service to major markets across the United States.”

Verizon and AT&T declined to comment on the FAA’s statement. Airlines for America, an aviation business group representing the country’s largest air carriers, welcomed the development.

“While much remains to be done, ongoing collaboration between the FAA, the aviation industry and telecom companies is helping to safely reduce air travel and shipping disruptions as additional 5G towers are activated,” he said. “We look forward to achieving a more efficient permanent solution that will allow the US to remain a world leader in aviation security as well as expand our nation’s 5G network.”

Wireless providers have spent billions of dollars accessing Airwaves for their 5G service, reflecting the importance of next-generation networks for their business ambitions. The rollout was scheduled to begin in late December but was delayed several times due to concerns in the aviation industry.

Airlines and the FAA were particularly concerned that 5G radio altimeters could interfere with the readings of devices that determine the distance between plane and land. Such measurements are especially important for pilots when visibility is low and are used in other important systems in some aircraft.

President Biden last week praised AT&T and Verizon for agreeing to delay deployments near major airports, and said the settlement would still allow more than 90 percent of planned service expansion to proceed. Since then, the FAA has approved an estimated 90 percent of the U.S. fleet of commercial airplanes to land safely where a new generation of 5G is deployed.

David McCabe Contribution Report.

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