Federal aviation officials have agreed not to ask for any further delays on Verizon’s and AT & T’s new 5G cellular service in order to pave the way for the companies to start their service while avoiding a major clash with regulators who said it was flights could endanger.

In addition to postponing the start of their service by two weeks, airlines will take temporary measures to address government security concerns about the technology, particularly near certain airports.

The agency had raised concerns that the new 5G service uses signals that collide with devices that pilots use to land in bad weather. Officials said they could restrict the use of this equipment, known as a radio altimeter, which, under certain conditions, could land or reroute flights.

In a letter to cell phone companies Monday evening, federal officials said that without “unforeseen” security issues with the technology, they “will not seek or demand any further delays in switching on the new technology.”

“We are confident that your voluntary steps will support the safe coexistence of 5G C-band deployment and aviation activities, and help maintain America’s economic strength and leadership worldwide,” said Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and the Federal Aviation Administration administrator. Stephen Dickson, in a letter to the directors of the two companies.

The deal prevents a collision this week between AT&T and Verizon, which originally planned to roll out the service on Wednesday, and federal regulators, who said they could restrict flights if their concerns weren’t met. The country’s airlines said the restrictions could disrupt hundreds of thousands of passenger flights soon after vacation trips were hit by delays and cancellations due to staff shortages and weather.

“Last night’s agreement is a significant step in the right direction and we are grateful to all parties for their cooperation and goodwill,” President Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. “This agreement ensures there will be no flight disruptions for the next two weeks and puts us on the path to significantly reducing flight disruptions when AT&T and Verizon roll out 5G on January 19th.”

As part of the agreement, the wireless service providers will keep their promise to operate 5G stations with less power than they normally plan. According to the agreement, they will further reduce their performance by “no more than 50 priority airports”.

The FAA said it will look into whether some radio altimeters could also be used safely with 5G service, potentially exempting those devices from future restrictions and limiting the number of aircraft at risk of delays or cancellations.

Airlines for America, a lobby group, had threatened to go to court to block the new 5G service. In a statement, Nicholas E. Calio, the organization’s chief executive officer, said it will “continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the new 5G service can safely coexist with aviation.”



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