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Tue, Sep 05, 2023

Delta Air Lines 5G-Ready

Carrier Completes Updates to Radio Altimeters

Delta Air Lines has announced the completion of its move to 5-G 'immune' radio altimeters throughout the entire fleet, rendering it ready for a wave of high-speed, high-performance cellular networking.

The carrier had, like so many others, been caught a bit flat footed during the rollout of 5G networks across the country. An agreement between cell networks, airlines, and the FAA has provided additional time for them to update their equipment to newer, unaffected avionics, but time has continued to run out. A series of decisions, NOTAMs, and regulations had threatened the ability for carriers to be able to hold a schedule in regions of inclement weather - interference between 5G antennas had been deemed a threat for flight dependent upon their radio altimeters. The agreement between the two heaviest hitters in the cell network market, Verizon and AT&T, held until July 1st, when all bets were off. Now, the full gamut of C-band 5G is open for business, whether carriers domestic and international are ready for it. While some had worried that the industry would see yet another reason for delays throughout the aviation ecosystem, Delta says they got through the summer without issue.

Now, after months of work, the carrier is happy to say that no matter what comes, they're ready for the full gamut of 5G broadcasting. Delta has managed to outfit about 190 of its previously unequipped A220 aircraft, allowing it to stand ready despite an industry beset with supply delays. Delta may be early to the party, with other carriers possibly fighting over whatever radar altimetry units they can find. 

FMI: www.reuters.com

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