Disruption to US-bound air travel caused by the rollout of 5G services in the United States has eased as authorities approved more flights. Airlines and telecom companies have been at loggerheads over the deployment of 5G mobile services over concerns that the powerful signals could interfere with airplane systems. 

Carriers across Asia, West Asia, and Europe cancelled flights to the United States or switched planes at the last minute on Tuesday and yesterday. It disrupted travel for thousands of passengers, over safety concerns caused by the 5G deployment.

The decision by AT&T and Verizon Communications to delay switching on new telecom masts near key airports, just hours ahead of a wider US rollout, came too late to avoid a ripple of cancellations.

US airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration have warned that the 5G frequencies and transmission strength being deployed in the United States could interfere with radio altimeter readings needed for bad-weather landings on some jets.

Despite the widespread criticism from the airline industry toward the US’ planned 5G rollout yesterday, fewer than 300 flights appear to have been cancelled as a result. As US President Joe Biden noted in a statement 90 percent of cell towers scheduled to utilize 5G have been activated. Biden has thanked Verizon and AT&T for agreeing to delay 5G deployment around key airports.

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