Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun and Airbus Americas CEO Jeffrey Knittel, have asked the Biden administration to delay planned deployment of new 5G wireless services in the country, saying it could harm aviation safety.
According to Reuters, the executives in a joint letter asked U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to support postponing AT&T and Verizon’s Jan. 5 deployment of C-Band spectrum 5G wireless.
“5G interference could adversely affect the ability of aircraft to safely operate,” the letter said, adding it could have “an enormous negative impact on the aviation industry.” The letter read.
The industry and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have raised concerns about potential interference of 5G with sensitive aircraft electronics like radio altimeters. The FAA this month issued airworthiness directives warning 5G interference could result in flight diversions. The agency plans to provide more information before Jan. 5.
The Boeing Airbus letter cited an analysis from trade group Airlines for America that if the FAA 5G directive had been in effect in 2019, about 345,000 passenger flights and 5,400 cargo flights would have faced delays, diversions or cancellations.
In November, AT&T and Verizon delayed commercial launch of C-band wireless service by a month until Jan. 5 and adopted precautionary measures to limit interference.