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Huntsville International Airport: No airlines impacted by 5G launch

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 8:27 AM CST

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - AT&T and Verizon launched their 5G services in 46 markets on January 19. The launch sparked a battle between the telecommunication companies and the aviation industry.

Some airlines and companies say the networks could pose a risk to instruments on airliners and other planes.

“The challenge is the frequency band that those new networks are going to be operating on are adjacent on the electro magnetic spectrum to the frequencies used by a piece of aviation equipment called a radar altimeter,” said Beacon Group Vice President David Max Korzen.

While 5G caused some flight cancellations around the U.S., a representative of the Huntsville International Airport said that the launch did not cause disruptions in the city.

“One of the things that the FAA is doing is they’re identifying aircraft and also the radio altimeters that are safe to use during these conditions. And so far, they have looked at all the commercial aircraft we’re using. And they’ve cleared 78 percent of those aircraft,” said Mary Swanstrom, Public Relations Manager.

In a statement Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration 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.”

While Huntsville doesn’t anticipate any flight cancellations, the airport says passengers should check their website and airlines for the latest flight schedules.

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