Airlines resume US flights as FAA issues fresh guidelines

United States Federal Aviation Administration has issued new approvals for low-visibility landings at airports affected by 5G deployments.

Emirates will resume its flights into the US after concerns over 5G deployments planned for January 19, 2022 forced several international airlines to cancel some flights. Emirates will resume flights to Chicago, Orlando, Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle and Newark on Friday, and Houston, San Francisco and Boston on Saturday.

According to Cnet, the FAA said it has issued new approvals allowing around 78 per cent of commercial planes in the US to perform low-visibility landings at airports affected by Verizon and AT&T’s 5G rollouts.

“The FAA is working diligently to determine which altimeters are reliable and accurate where 5G is deployed in the United States,” the FAA said. “We anticipate some altimeters will be too susceptible to 5G interference. To preserve safety, aircraft with those altimeters will be prohibited from performing low-visibility landings where 5G is deployed because the altimeter could provide inaccurate information.”

Emirates had previously canceled flights into San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando, Seattle, Miami, Newark, Houston, Chicago and Boston “until further notice” due to the planned 5G switch-on around those airports. Japan Airlines and ANA also canceled flights on Tuesday, but resumed them Wednesday when the FAA issued approvals allowing some planes to make low-visibility landings.

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The cancellations came after airlines on Monday warned of significant travel disruptions if the planned launch of C-band 5G on Wednesday proceeded.

AT&T would “temporarily defer” turning on some of its 5G towers near airport runways, a spokesperson said Tuesday, adding that the FAA has “not utilised the two years they’ve had to responsibly plan for this deployment.”

“We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner,” the AT&T statement said.

Verizon said it would also ‘voluntarily’ limit its C-band 5G deployments around airports.

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