The FAA, Verizon and AT&T have reached yet another agreement aimed at preventing disruption at airports due to possible 5G interference. “We believe we have identified a path that will continue to enable aviation and 5G C-band wireless to safely co-exist,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen. “We appreciate the willingness of Verizon and AT&T to continue this important and productive collaboration with the aviation industry.”
The telecoms had set July 5 to crank up the power on 5G C-Band wireless around airports after delaying the full rollout for six months while the aviation industry figured out how to deal with it. Nolen said the most recent deal supersedes the old agreement. “We all agreed when we began these meetings that our goal was to make July 5, 2022, just another date on the calendar, and this plan makes that possible,” Nolen said.
Under the new deal, the telecoms offered to keep some of the measures to reduce 5G interference in place for another year. In that year, the FAA is mounting a major push to get operators of vulnerable aircraft to either replace those radar altimeters or install filters that lessen the risk of interference. Those filters are now becoming available and the FAA has set July of 2023 to get all the affected aircraft updated. It appears the FAA has accepted that timeline as the last extension. “After that time, the wireless companies expect to operate their networks in urban areas with minimal restrictions,” the agency statement said.