Boston's Logan Airport Not on List of 5G Buffer Zones

mobile phone carriers AT&T and Verizon said they will postpone new wireless service near some U.S. airports, but Boston Logan was not among them

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The rollout of 5G will not be delayed at Boston's Logan Airport despite safety concerns.

Airlines across the world rushed Wednesday to cancel or change flights heading into the U.S. over an ongoing dispute about the rollout of 5G mobile phone technology near American airports. The issue appeared to particularly impact the Boeing 777, a long-range, wide-body aircraft used by carriers worldwide.

The cancellations come even after mobile phone carriers AT&T and Verizon said they will postpone new wireless service near some U.S. airports planned for this week. Boston Logan, however, was not among them. The FAA has cleared a number of aircraft to fly into airports with the 5G signals, but missing from the list is the Boeing 777.

Verizon and AT&T said Tuesday that their move targets a limited number of airports around the country - including those in New York, Philadelphia and Las Angeles. Wednesday morning’s delay comes following serious concerns from the airline industry, including the FAA. 

The new 5G signal could disrupt the operation of airplanes, making for a dangerous situation, the FAA said. Verizon and AT&T disagreed, pointing to other countries that have deployed 5G technology without any safety problems. The wireless carriers said that the FAA should have done more to prepare and some tech experts agreed.

"This plan has been in place for several years. People have known about this for a long time," Bob O'Donnell of Technalysis Research said. "In theory, all the testing was done a long time ago and so to have all of a sudden it blow up at the very last second seems very strange and very odd."

MIT Professor Muriel Medard, an expert in 5G technologies, explains the impact of 5G networks as airlines across the globe cancel flights to the U.S.

Meanwhile, airlines are canceling flights. Some tech experts say the new technology can interfere at times with a plane’s radio and altimeter -- both of which are need for the safe operation of the aircraft.

"It's a very simple radar that the plane uses that tells it how close it is to actually getting the terrain," tech expert Lon Seidman said. "And many airliners have what was called an auto land feature on them for when it's really foggy or there's very awful visibility for the pilot."

It’s remains unclear how long the delayed rollout will last and why Logan Airport wasn’t included. 

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