FAA issues warning to take extra precautions when landing on U.S. airports

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FAA issues warning to take extra precautions when landing on U.S. airports

A commercial aircraft approaches San Diego International Airport on January 6, 2022 as U.S. telecom companies, airlines and the FAA discuss the potential impact of 5 G wireless services on aircraft electronics in San Diego, California. REUTERS Mike Blake

WASHINGTON, Jan 14, Reuters -- The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAA said Friday that operators of Boeing 787 s BA.N must take additional precautions when landing on wet or snowy runways at airports where new wireless services are deployed from next week.

The FAA said 5 G interference could prevent engine and brake systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway.

The directive requires crews to be aware of the risk and to take specific safety precautions when landing on these runways. It affects 137 U.S. aircraft and 1,010 aircraft worldwide.

AT&T T.N and Verizon VZ.N, which won nearly all of the C-Band spectrum in an $80 billion auction last year, agreed on January 3 to buffer zones around 50 airports to reduce interference risks. They agreed to delay deployment for two weeks.

When certain braking and anti-skid functions are inoperable, the FAA directive prohibits operators from sending or releasing 787 s to affected airports. There is a chance that the FAA will detail alternative compliance for some specific aircraft types and some airports before Wednesday.

The FAA has issued nearly 1,500 notices detailing the potential impact of 5 G services.

Affected aircraft with untested altimeters or need retrofitting or replacement will be unable to perform low-visibility landings where 5 G is deployed, according to the notices. The FAA disclosed the 50 U.S. airports that will have 5 G buffer zones, including in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Miami.

On Thursday, Airports Council International North America urged a delay of 5 G implementation to avoid widespread disruption across the U.S air transportation system.

More than 100 airports and heliports within 46 of the largest metropolitan areas of the country will have their low visibility approach procedures closed due to potential radio frequency, the airport trade group said.