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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Fresno’s airport gets a 5G buffer zone from the FAA

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The FAA has included Fresno’s airport on a list of 50 airports given a 5G buffer zone, due to concerns that the next generation C-Band transmissions could interfere with cockpit instruments.

Other airports included on the Federal Aviation Administration’s list include Los Angeles International (LAX) and San Francisco International (SFO).

According to the FAA, industry experts raised concerns in 2015 that the next generation of cell phone signals could create problems for radio altimeters (which help gauge a plane’s altitude). The 5G C-Band service is scheduled to go into use in various parts of the country on Jan. 19.

In response to the concern about potential disruption, the FAA says the wireless companies agreed to turn off transmitters and make other adjustments near these airports for six months in order to limit the possible disruption brought about by 5G interference on the instruments used in low-visibility landings.

At Fresno Yosemite International, officials say they are aware of the buffer zone and are monitoring the situation.

FAT continues to monitor progress being made to resolve issues related to 5G implementation around the airport.

Fresno Yosemite International

Buffer zones like those being implemented in the United States have also been implemented in many European locations, according to the FAA.

In a letter to both the CEOs of AT&T and Verizon, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and FAA administrator Steve Dickson thanked the cell providers for their cooperation.

We are confident that your voluntary steps will support the safe coexistence of 5G C-Band deployment and aviation activities, helping to retain America’s economic strength and leadership role around the world.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson

However, the Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission Brendan Carr wrote on Twitter earlier this month that nearly 40 countries have switched on their 5G C-Band service – and that the Biden administration “is working to needlessly delay C-Band operations.”

Verizon currently includes Fresno in its 5G C-Band coverage area, but AT&T’s wireless coverage map shows its 5G C-Band areas in California including only locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.

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