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US regulator issues fresh warning on danger that 5G services pose to flight safety

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US regulator issues fresh warning on danger that 5G services pose to flight safety.(Photo for Representation)

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a fresh warning that new 5G telecom services pose a danger to flights because of their potential to disrupt sensitive airplane electronics like altimeters.

FAA has pointed out that there were big differences between U.S. aviation protections and those used in France.

The FAA launched a webpage on 5G and aviation safety raising questions about the danger they pose.

This week, telecom giants AT&T and Verizon agreed to adopt precautions similar to those in France. On Monday, the carriers said they would delay use of C-Band spectrum for wireless service until Jan. 19 in order to avoid flight disruptions.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden welcomed the deal between wireless carriers and U.S. regulators allowing 5G deployment in two weeks. The FAA said the delay would allow it to evaluate ways to minimize disruptions to altimeters, and also gives companies more time to prepare.

According to a Reuters report, the FAA said 5G airport buffer zones in France cover "96 seconds of flight" while safety precautions around U.S. airports "only protect the last 20 seconds of flight." It said temporary U.S. lower power levels will be 2.5 times higher than France. It noted that France requires antennas be tilted downward to limit harmful interference, a rule that does not apply in the USA.

"If there’s the possibility of a risk to the flying public, we are obligated to pause the activity, until we can prove it is safe," the FAA website said.

"Radar altimeters still must be proven safe in the overall U.S. 5G environment to fly into these airports, so we must take into account the higher signal strength when assessing safety and risk."