The final holdout, Delta, has modernised its fleet of aircraft.
Now that Delta has modified its aircraft to minimise interference, the worry that 5G signals could cause significant flight delays appears to have been allayed.
According to Reuters, the airline has completed updating the radio altimeters in its aircraft that is currently in use. The new altimeters will also be installed in other aircraft that are scheduled for planned maintenance. The upgrade, according to Delta, “means no Delta aircraft will be subject to additional weather-driven constraints.”
In low visibility conditions, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had warned that some 5G signals can affect the altimeters pilots use to gauge their distance from the ground.
The FAA was concerned that some aircraft altimeters would have trouble telling the radio signals from 5G cell towers apart, despite the fact that they don’t actually share the same spectrum. This sparked a dispute over where and how powerfully 5G signals may be turned on between telecom corporations and the FAA.
In the majority of sites, carriers were eventually able to activate their 5G signals, although they continued to shut off regions near airports while airlines upgraded their altimeters.
Airlines are no longer allowed to land planes in specific low-visibility conditions if their altimeters haven’t been updated as of July, which prompted US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to issue a warning about possible flight delays and cancellations. With the notable exception of Delta, which had 190 aircraft without the upgraded altimeters, nearly all domestic aircraft were equipped with them.
The dilemma surrounding 5G airlines may eventually be resolved with those updated aircraft.