The FAA announces the 50 airports that will have 5G buffer zones

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Federal Aviation Administration on Friday published a list of the 50 U.S. airports that want buffer zones, or areas where AT&T and Verizon have agreed to limit 5G signals for six months.

In a announcement, the FAA said it was working with the aviation community to determine where the buffer zones would reduce the risk of disruption, taking into account factors such as traffic volume, number of days of poor visibility and geographical location. The agency said many airports are not currently affected by AT & T and Verizon’s upcoming 5G implementation, a service the wireless companies will activate on January 19 after various delays.

The buffer zones aim to reduce the potential interference from 5G antennas with aircraft instruments, called radar altimeters that tell pilots how far they are from the ground. They help pilots navigate and land planes during bad weather and prevent crashes.

Airports on the list include Dallas Love Field, a major passenger hub for Southwest Airlines, and Chicago O’Hare, which is a major hub for United Airlines and American Airlines. Facilities that act as hubs for freight and private aircraft, such as airports in Indianapolis, northern New Jersey and New York City, were also part of the select.

In addition, the list includes airports in Austin, Nashville, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle and San Francisco.

The FAA’s announcement comes amid a temporary ceasefire between transport regulators and aviation groups worried that 5G antennas near some airports could affect the accuracy of altimeter readings, and telecommunications regulators and wireless companies insisting that 5G technology will not security issues.

On Monday, AT&T and Verizon agreed break their 5G rollout for an additional two weeks at the request of federal agencies. The move was a quick turnaround from the wireless companies, which just a day earlier had done so put burning foot down and said accepting the petition would have been “an irresponsible abdication of the operational control required to implement world-class and globally competitive communications networks.”

AT&T and Verizon bought almost the entire C-band radio spectrum, which was auctioned off by the Federal Communications Commission last year, and spent a total of nearly $ 70 billion, to improve their 5G network.

Over next six months, which is how long AT&T and Verizon have agreed to keep the buffers in place around the 50 airports, the FAA will work with aerospace manufacturers and airlines to confirm whether aircraft can operate safely after the wireless companies’ 5G service is turned on.


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