Everything Australians Need To Know About America’s 5G Flight Disruptions

Flying to the US from Australia? Here's everything you need to know about the 5G rollout controversy.

Ah, 5G. Depending on who you ask, the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks is either the best thing since sliced bread for mobile phones… Or something that’ll give you autism or a conspiracy behind the spread of The Spicy Cough.

The latest concern about 5G is that it’ll interfere with planes. Domestic carriers as well as airlines from around the world are adjusting their schedules and aircraft deployments for flights to the US over fears that AT&T and Verizon 5G rollout near American airports could interfere with key safety systems, Bloomberg relates.

Some of the airlines that are cancelling some or all flights to America from Australia – other than American carriers like American Airlines, Delta and United – include Air Canada, Air Korea, Emirates and Singapore Airlines.

However, not all airlines are worried about the 5G rollout. Qantas, for one, has brushed off concerns and will continue flying. “Our flights in the United States will fully comply with the safety regulator’s requirements… We would never operate unless it was completely safe to do so,” Qantas chief technical pilot Captain Alex Passerini has assured customers.

Major carriers Etihad and Qatar Airways are also continuing to fly from Australia to the US.

Image: Reuters

But what’s all the fuss about? While airlines, aerospace manufacturers and the US’ Federal Aviation Administration have been sounding the alarm about potentially catrastrophic interference from 5G, experts and the wireless industry say the threat of actual safety issues is minimal, and that the disruption is largely being caused by FAA delays and incompetence, Motherboard relates.

They continue by explaining that “evidence of actual interference has been hard to come by. The wireless industry has been quick to point out that more than 40 countries worldwide have deployed 5G technology [close to avionics equipment] without incident.” It’s worth pointing out that Australia is one of those countries.

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Although 5G doesn’t spread COVID, it’s hard to see how, ultimately, this is anything but the lasting impact of COVID on the global airline industry. From government organisations to the wireless industry and airlines, everyone’s stretched thin… But we guess Aussies might have to hold out a little longer for an American holiday.

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