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AT&T, Verizon plans to expand 5G network on hold after airlines raise concerns

Atlanta Airport
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 21:48:30-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A plan to roll out 5G mobile networks is on hold over concerns about safety near the airport.

AT&T and Verizon were going to launch the new 5G networks Wednesday. Every major airline raised alarms, saying it would be dangerous for the air industry.

AT&T and Verizon are in a showdown with every major airline, including Delta, American, United and Southwest, concerning their nationwide efforts to expand 5G could interfere with aircraft systems, causing delays and disruptions.

RELATED: AT&T, Verizon delay some new 5G after airlines raise alarm

The Airline Pilots Union is asking the new 5G be banned within two miles of airport runways.

AT&T and Verizon planned to activate their new 5G wireless service Wednesday after two previous delays. The company said their equipment is safe with planes, and it is used safely in many other countries.

Captain Joe Graham has more than 50 years of flying experience. He said the plan has been in the works for years and billions of dollars are at stake.

"It is a big safety issue," he said. "It is a big operational issue."

Graham said he worries the service could interfere with the radio altimeters, which tell pilots their distance from the ground and help them land in low visibility.

Lindbergh field representatives confirmed the telecommunications companies operating at San Diego International Airport have not implemented 5G.

AT&T and Verizon have agreed to work with airlines and the FAA to make sure operations are not affected. The plan is grounded for now.