US FAA Approves 78 Percent of Planes for Low-Visibility Landings Near 5G Airports

By Reuters
January 21, 2022 Updated: January 21, 2022

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued new approvals for additional altimeters that allow about 78 percent of the U.S. commercial air fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports where 5G C-band wireless is deployed.

Some flights were being affected at San Francisco because of low visibility, with some diverted to other airports or canceled, airlines said.

Airplane models with one of 13 cleared altimeters include all Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, and MD-10/-11 models; all Airbus A300, A310, A319, A320, A330, A340, A350, and A380 models; and some Embraer 170 and 190 regional jets. The FAA said it anticipated “some altimeters will be too susceptible to 5G interference” and will be prohibited from performing low-visibility landings near 5G deployments.

AT&T and Verizon Communications agreed late Tuesday to delay switching on new telecom towers near key airports even as they turned on the new 5G C-Band service.

Radio altimeters are used to give data on height above grounds for bad-weather landings.

By David Shepardson