Boeing and Airbus, the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers, have asked the US government to delay the transition to new 5G technology.
Senior executives of the two companies warned in their letter that 5G technology would “have a huge negative impact on the aviation industry”.
Concerns have been raised before that the wireless 5G C-Band spectrum will affect the electronic systems of aircraft.
American telecom giants AT&T and Verizon plan to launch 5G service on January 5.
“5G could negatively impact the safe operation of aircraft,” said Dave Calhoun and Jeffrey Knittel, executives of Boeing and Airbus Americas, in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
The letter highlighted research by the American Airways business group that found that if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had implemented 5G rules in 2019, approximately 345,000 passenger flights and 5,400 cargo flights would have faced delays, reroutes or cancellations.
The aviation industry and the FAA have expressed concerns about 5G’s interference with sensitive aircraft equipment such as radio altitude meters.
In a statement, Airbus stated that Airbus and Boeing are working with other aviation companies in the USA to understand the effects of 5G, and stated that they conveyed some security measures to the Ministry of Transport to eliminate potential risks.
The FAA also stated in a communiqué sent this month that 5G could cause flights to change direction, and that it would provide more information on this before the transition on January 5th.
AT&T and Verizon delayed C-band wireless service to January 5 with a one-month delay to take measures to prevent potential interference.
The aviation industry, on the other hand, states that these measures are not sufficient.
US wireless services company CTIA has argued that 5G is safe and accused aviation companies of distorting facts and spreading fear.