Emirates launches Boeing 777 back to the U.S. due to delay in 5G deployment

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Emirates, a long-range airline, has stopped using aircraft in the United States, fearing that new 5G services in the United States could interfere with altitude-measuring aircraft technology. Later, it announced that it would resume Boeing 777 flights to the United States.

International airlines that rely heavily on the wide-body Boeing 777 and other Boeing aircraft received warnings from the Federal Aviation Authority and Chicago-based aircraft manufacturers about possible interference with radio altimeters on Wednesday. Canceled an early flight or switched to another plane.

The FAA approved late Wednesday to increase the variety of planes landing in poor visibility near 5G traffic lights, including the Boeing 777.

Among the airlines most affected by the FAA’s decision was Dubai-based Emirates. This is an important east-west travel airline that operates only the 777 and the two-story Airbus A380.

Emirates said the Boeing 777 service to Chicago, Dallas / Fort Worth, Miami, Newark, Orlando and Seattle will resume on Friday.

Flights to Boston, Houston and San Francisco, where Emirates has deployed the Airbus A380 Jumbo Jet, will resume flights on the Boeing 777 on Saturday.

Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airlines, apologized in a statement about the turmoil to airline customers.

“Safety has always been our number one priority and we never gamble in this regard,” Clark said. “We welcome the latest developments that will allow us to reopen important transportation links to the United States to serve travelers and freight carriers.”

However, he added, “This is a temporary grace and we are very aware that a long-term solution is needed.” This will temporarily reduce 5G deployments near dozens of airports as Verizon and AT & T evaluate aircraft that can fly safely near the new 5G frequency and aircraft that require a new altimeter. Means to do.

Similar 5G mobile networks are deployed in more than 30 countries, but there are significant differences in the way US networks are designed, raising concerns about potential airline issues.

Verizon and AT & T networks use segments of the radio spectrum similar to those used in radio altimeters. This is a device that measures the height of aircraft on the ground to help pilots land in poor visibility.

The Federal Communications Commission, which set a buffer between 5G and the frequencies used by altimeters, said wireless services pose no risk to aviation. However, FAA authorities have seen potential problems.

John Gambrel

Associated Press