The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued new approvals Thursday that allow an estimate 78 percent of U.S. fleet to perform low visibility landings at airports where wireless carriers have deployed 5G C band.
The agency stated that this now includes some regional jets.
It’s the latest development in the U.S. air industry and wireless giants AT&T.NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) work to deploy 5G cellphone service on newly available frequencies.
The FAA has warned that signal interference could impact radio altimeter performance in low-visibility weather conditions. The new environment has cleared some altimeters for use.
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Approvals for New Products
The FAA announced Thursday that its new approvals covered all plane models with one of 13 cleared altimeters, including all Boeing 717 and 737 models, as well as all Airbus A300, A310 and A320 models, all Embraer 170, and 190 regional jets.
Additional details and updates are available at the FAAs dedicated 5G webpage.
The FAA stated that it is working diligently in order to determine which altimeters are still reliable and accurate for 5G deployments in the United States. We expect some altimeters to be too vulnerable to interference from 5G. In order to ensure safety, aircraft equipped with such altimeters will not be able to perform low-visibility landings in areas where 5G is available.
Verizon and AT&T had been scheduled for Wednesday’s full deployment of 5G on the new frequencies. However, after an appeal by the airline industry to the Biden Administration on Tuesday, the wireless giants arranged to delay deployment around certain airports.
FAA said that they still anticipate there Some impacts will result from the limitations of certain radio altimeters. It is advising passengers that they check with their airlines to confirm the most current flight schedules.
Buffer zones have been created around 50 airports to lower 5G signal strengths and enable aircraft to land safely in low visibility conditions. The FAA stated that the signal strength in certain areas was too strong for low-visibility landings to be safe.