FAA Seeks to Minimize Delays But Issues Almost 1,500 Flight Limits for 5G

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UPDATE  The FAA announced yesterday it has issued 1,462 orders that limit flight operations across the U.S., but added it has made progress reducing possible flight disruptions from 5G services due for take off on January 19. According to Bloomberg, the FAA said it hopes to provide information soon on the percentage of aircraft that will be subject to the restrictions. Notices to airmen (NOTAMs) were released by the agency at midnight on Thursday that detailed new prohibitions. Industry observers said it is one of the largest issuings of NOTAMs on record and are being handed out to roughly two dozen large airports as well as regions slated to host upcoming 5G services. 

The FAA in a statement said it “has made progress to safely reduce the risk of delays and cancellations as wireless companies share more data and manufacturer altimeter testing results arrive.” 

The actions by the FAA follow the compromise with AT&T and Verizon last week, where the carriers agreed to delay their 5G service for two weeks. The telecom service providers agreed to limit placement of cell towers near 50 airports for at least six months even though they contend 5G holds no risk to aviation. The FAA and aerospace-industry groups countered by saying tests show the service could have an effect on altimeter readings if the aircraft is in close proximity to a cell tower.

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