The airline industry leaders said in a letter the deployment of new 5G mobile internet technology could lead to the grounding of a number of flights due to interference from the technology, "potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas" and lead to a "chaos" for US flights.

It was signed by the chief executives of American Airlines, JetBlue Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, as well as officials from FedEx Express and UPS Airlines.

'unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded"

The fear among airlines, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration was that the new 5G network could interfere with vital aircraft instruments that are on a similar wavelength.

"This means that on a day like yesterday, more than 1,100 flights and 100,000 passengers would be subjected to cancellations, diversions or delays," the letter cautioned.

Airlines late on Monday were considering whether to begin canceling some international flights that are scheduled to arrive in the United States on Wednesday.

"immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies. '

Aviation officials fear that 5G signals near airports could interfere with certain airplane instruments, including the radio altimeter used to gauge altitude

'We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner. '

'with the proposed restrictions at selected airports, the transportation industry is preparing for some service disruption.

we are optimistic that we can work across industries and with government to finalize solutions that safely mitigate as many schedule impacts as possible."

AT & T and Verizon, which won nearly all of the C-Band spectrum in an $ 80 billion auction last year to launched their 5G services, had agreed to buffer zones around 50 airports to reduce interference risks and take other steps to cut potential interference for six months.

They also agreed to delay deployment for two weeks until Wednesday, temporarily averting an aviation safety standoff, but the rollout has now been paused again.

'The FAA continues to work with the aviation industry and wireless companies to try to limit 5G-related flight delays and cancellations. '

This includes altimeters, which tell pilots their altitude as they fly in low visibility.

Any false readings could confuse them as they approach the runway in poor visibility conditions, with potentially disastrous results.

Allied Pilots Association spokesperson Dennis Tajer urged cellular companies to push back their 5G rollout due to the signal's effect on a plane's altitude reading

The White House is now helping broker an agreement between the two industries.

At a briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House 'understands what is at stake for both industries. '

A deal is being worked on negotiated now to allow 90 percent of the towers- 4,500- to be turned on, holding back the 500 of concern.

Last month, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement that 5G emission's won't harm British airlines.

The CEOs of some of America's largest airlines wrote to federal officials on Monday warning about the potential negative effects of 5G

a spokesperson for the caa saying : 'we are aware of reports that suggest that the frequency band being used for 5g in a number of countries could potentially pose a risk of interference with aircraft radio altimeters.

'There have been no reported incidents of aircraft systems being affected by 5G transmissions in UK airspace, but we are nonetheless working with Ofcom and the Ministry of Defence to make sure that the deployment of 5G in the UK does not cause any technical problems for aircraft. '

Ofcom said : 'We 're aware that the aviation sector is looking at this; we 've done our own technical analysis and are yet to see any evidence that would give us cause for concern. '

Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, said the networks were 'coordinating with the aviation authorities' to ensure there was 'no interference in the UK '.

Modern planes, like the one seen here, contain altimeters, which measures altitude and allows pilots to fly when visibility is limited

"To be blunt, the nation's commerce will grind to a halt," the executives said.

Verizon and AT & T have since agreed to push back the launch of their new service from January 4, and it was set to debut on Wednesday.

The CEOs warned that a significant number of widebody aircrafts will become unusable and 'could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas. '

'The harm that will result from deployment on January 19 is substantially worse than we anticipated for two key reasons,' they explained.

Altimeter's are a key tool for pilots landing in low-visibility conditions

On Sunday, the FAA said it had cleared an estimated 45 % of US commercial airplanes to perform low-visibility landings at many airports where 5G C-band will be deployed starting on Wednesday.

The CEOs also argued that because radio altimeters provide critical information to other safety and navigation systems in modern airplanes, multiple modern safety systems 'will be deemed unusable. '

'airplane manufacturers have informed us that there are huge swaths of the operating fleet that may need to be indefinitely grounded. '

'the ripple effects across both passenger and cargo operations, our workforce and the broader economy are simply incalculable,' the ceos wrote as they asked officials 'that 5g be implemented everywhere in the country except within the approximate 2 miles of airport runways' at some key airports.

the carriers added they urge action to ensure '5g is deployed except when towers are too close to airport runways until the faa can determine how that can be safely accomplished without catastrophic disruption".

The letter, which was obtained by, went to White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and Federal Communications Commission ( FCC ) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Airlines for America, the group that organized the letter, declined to comment.

The government agencies did not immediately comment.

The wireless service can render radar altimeters unreliable. Pictured is a Verizon 5G tower going up in Utah

The CEOs of major airlines and Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun held a lengthy call with Buttigieg and Dickson on Sunday to warn of the looming crisis, officials told Reuters.

but the issue doesn't just affect airplanes- they could also have a negative effect on the nation's helicopters, including lifesaving medevac choppers.

under us law, all commercial helicopters must have a working altimeter in order to fly.

Without them, officials warn, landing in remote areas or on hospital landing pads will be near impossible.

US airlines claim 5G can render radar altimeters unreliable. Pictured is a Verizon 5G tower going up in Utah

Helicopter Association International petitioned the FAA in October asking for medevacs to be exempt from the law when 5G rolls out, and the FAA granted it last week for areas where 5G C-Band interference could affect the radio altimeter.

'conversations with [ national aviation authorities ] has established that there have been no confirmed instances where 5g interference has resulted in aircraft system malfunction or unexpected behaviour".

The airlines noted on Monday that the list did not include many large airports.

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