Boeing stated in a statement that the aerospace industry is “focused on fully evaluating the potential for interference with radio altimeters 5G”
It stated that it was working with “aviation authorities, government leaders and airlines to ensure continued operational safety of all aircraft worldwide.”
According to Reuters: Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun, and Airbus Americas CEO Jeffrey Knittel called for the postponement of a Jan. 5 rollout by AT&T/Verizon Communications of the new technology.
Executives wrote to Pete Buttigieg in a letter, stating that 5G interference could affect aircraft’s ability to safely operate. They also warned that it could have “an immense negative effect on the aviation industry.”
Companies expressed concern that 5G could interfere with radio altimeters and other aircraft systems, such as radio altimeters. If 5G is installed, they have warned of flight delays and reduced visibility due to snowstorms.
The Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), a non-profit that studies electronic systems in aircraft, released a report last year concluding interference from 5G was a valid concern and a potential safety hazard.
The Federal Aviation Administration also issued directives on airworthiness earlier in the month to address these concerns.
“[R]adio Altimeters cannot be relied on to perform their intended functions if they experience interference by wireless broadband operations,” FAA stated. It also suggested that it would require “limitations prohibiting some operations requiring radio-altimeter data when in 5G C Band interference” for fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters.
Also, airlines are concerned. Last week, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly stated to a Senate hearing that 5G deployment was the top industry concern.
AT&T and Verizon reportedly delayed the launch C-Band wireless service by one month in November. In an attempt to end the impasse, they also offered to limit power from 5G towers for six years to allow regulators to evaluate whether the new technology could cause flight problems.