The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has reached a deal with wireless companies that will allow them to deploy 5G cell towers near airports.
The FAA and airlines voiced concerns that the wireless frequencies could interfere with some of the instruments used by pilots as they land. Earlier in the month, the FAA worked out a deal with AT&T and Verizon Wireless to temporarily halt the activation of roughly 500 5G towers that were placed within two miles of some airports.
The FAA explained that it worked with the companies to find ways to safely reposition the antennas without causing interference to the sensitive equipment on airplanes.
“The FAA used this data to determine that it is possible to safely and more precisely map the size and shape of the areas around airports where 5G signals are mitigated, shrinking the areas where wireless operators are deferring their antenna activations,” an FAA spokesperson said.
“This will enable the wireless providers to safely turn on more towers as they deploy new 5G service in major markets across the United States.”
Airlines for America, an aviation trade group, praised the plan but said more work needs to be done to find a permanent solution to the issue.
“While there is much work still to be done, the ongoing collaboration between the FAA, the aviation industry, and the telecom companies is helping to safely reduce air travel and shipping disruptions as additional 5G towers are activated,” the organization said in a statement. “We look forward to achieving a more efficient permanent solution that will allow the US to continue leading the world in aviation safety while also expanding our nation’s 5G network.”