Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport not affected by 5G rollout

Technology could interfere with planes landing; Pullman only affected if Seattle-Tacoma affected



Despite issues with 5G service affecting larger airports, the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport does not expect flights in and out of Pullman to be affected.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport does not expect the rollout of 5G networks to directly impact flights in and out of Pullman, although flights have been grounded at larger airports.

As the prominent cellular companies AT&T and Verizon prepare to roll out their new 5G networks, the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned the technology will interfere with the systems that help airplanes land, according to the FAA website. In certain airplane models, 5G networks could disrupt the radio altimeter, the instrument that tells pilots how far the plane is above the ground.

The 5G frequency is dangerously close to the frequency used for radio altimeters and is more likely to affect new planes, according to a Seattle Times article.

Airline industry analyst Bob Mann said the potential disruptions do not just affect commercial flights but also business and cargo flights, medical evacuations, organ transplant flights and military operations, according to a Washington Post article.

5G is not available in Pullman, according to Verizon’s cellular coverage map and AT&T’s map.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is impacted by the 5G rollout. The FAA banned any flights landing in Seattle if clouds are below 200 feet because landing could be difficult with the potentially disrupted radio altimeters, according to the Seattle Times article.

SeaTac has three flights a day arriving from Pullman and three flights departing to Pullman, according to the airport’s website.

If SeaTac is affected by the 5G rollout, then Pullman would also be affected, said Tony Bean, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport executive director, in a Pullman-Moscow Daily News article.