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Airlines' fears over 5G may finally be over

Airlines' fears over 5G may finally be over

Concerns that 5G signals could cause massive flight delays finally seem to be coming to an end as Delta has upgraded its airplanes to avoid interference.

Reuters reported that the airline has completed updating the radio altimeters in its current service fleet. New altimeters will also be installed in other aircraft available for planned maintenance. Delta told The Associated Press that the update means "no Delta aircraft will be subject to additional weather-induced disruptions."

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had said that some 5G signals could affect altimeters used by pilots to measure how far they are from the ground in low visibility conditions. Although altimeters and 5G cell towers don't actually share the same spectrum, the FAA believes some aircraft altimeters may have problems separating radio signals. Thus began a battle between telecommunications companies and the FAA over where 5G signals can be deployed and with what signal strength.

Carriers were eventually able to turn on their 5G signals in most locations, but they continued to shut down areas around airports while airlines installed updated altimeters.

Since July, airlines were banned from landing planes in certain low visibility conditions if their altimeters were not updated, leading US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to warn of possible flight delays and cancellations. Almost all were domestic aircraft, Delta being the major exception – the airline had 190 aircraft without updated altimeters.

With those aircraft updates, 5G-airline problems may finally be over.

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