5G now means some flights won’t be able to land when pilots can’t see the runway

5g now means some flights won’t be able to land when pilots can’t see the runway

Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images

Verizon and AT&T are hoping new swaths of C-band cellular radio spectrum will help make the 5G hype closer to reality, but the big mid-band 5G rollout may have a side effect. Airplanes rely on radio altimeters to tell how high they are above the ground to safely land when pilots can’t see, and the FAA is now instructing 6,834 of them to not do that at certain airports because of 5G interference.

The FAA ruled on Tuesday that those thousands of US planes (and some helicopters) won’t be able to use many of the guided and automatic landing systems that are designed to work in poor visibility conditions if they’re landing at an airport where there’s deemed to be enough interference that their altimeters aren’t reliable. “Landings during…

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