🇺🇸 Alaska Airlines completes 5G modifications ahead of FAA deadline

By Misha Radkevitch - June 29, 2023

Press release from Alaska Airlines

We’re proud to share that we have completed the modifications to upgrade radio altimeters on all active Alaska and Horizon aircraft in June, ahead of the FAA’s July 1 deadline. It’s an important safety milestone for us and critical to the reliability of our summer operations.

Concerns about 5G’s potential interference with airplane altimeters led to operational disruptions at several airlines last year, including Alaska and Horizon. Following this, the FAA created new rules that prohibit landings in low visibility conditions for aircraft that do not have updated altimeters and will take effect on July 1. Radio altimeters are crucial for landing in adverse weather conditions. Wireless telecommunications carriers agreed to delay the use of C-band signals near major airports, while airlines worked to retrofit aircraft.

“The work to get all aircraft modified with the upgraded radio altimeters was an impressive joint effort between Maintenance & Engineering, Flight Operations, and many others,” said Bret Peyton, managing director of Standards, Fleet & Ops Control, “Thank you to these teams for their attention to safety and speed at which they worked.”

Don Wright, vice president of Maintenance and Engineering, echoed similar sentiment, “The 5G radio altimeter retrofit program was well-coordinated, leading to its flawless execution. It was a total team effort that involved maintenance & engineering, material control, and planning, as well as our business partners. This is a shining example of our ‘One Team Culture’ in action delivering a key initiative for the company.”

Originally published on 27 June.