In the video player above: Airport Authority Executive Director Jason Terreri joined NewsChannel 9 Wednesday to discuss its ‘Master Plan’ when it comes to a long and short-term vision for the airport. Terreri also talks about the airport getting put on a list of 50 airports affected by the 5G rollout. 

(NEXSTAR) – Federal officials have identified 50 U.S. airports that will have “buffer zones” when wireless companies turn on 5G service in a few weeks. The services will use frequencies in a radio spectrum called the C-band, which has caused concerns because it could impact flight operations.

A press release issued by Syracuse Hancock International Airport on January 19 explained it is expected that some aircraft types will not immediately receive an AMOC (Alternative Measures of Compliance).

Due to Syracuse’s diverse fleet mix, the SRAA expects some impacts on operations. However, the exact level of impact is difficult to quantify.

On Wednesday, January 19, 45% of the commercial aircraft fleet had received approval for AMOCs, and the aircraft manufacturers continue to seek additional AMOCs.

“The airport’s top priority remains the safe and efficient operation of our airfield. We remain in active discussions with industry groups, our representatives in Washington D.C., and our federal agency partners as we work to resolve this issue as quickly and safely as possible,” said SRAA Executive Director Jason Terreri.

After requests from both a major airline trade group — Airlines for America — and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Stephen Dickson, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, AT&T and Verizon recently delayed rolling out the new 5G service.

Airlines for America told the Federal Communications Commission that using C-band 5G near dozens of airports could interfere with devices that measure an airplane’s height above the ground. Buttigieg and Dickson warned that there would be an “unacceptable disruption” to aviation without a delay because flights would be canceled or diverted to other cities to avoid potential risks to air safety.

Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration released a list of 50 airports nationwide that will have buffer zones when 5G is rolled out by wireless carriers later this month. The buffer zones are intended to reduce the risk of airplane instruments like an altimeter, which measures the craft’s altitude, being affected by potential interference.

Altimeters are crucial to flights making low-visibility landings. According to the FAA, aircraft will be required to have an altimeter “that has been proven to be accurate and reliable in the U.S. 5G C-band environment.”

The list of airports that will have 5G buffer zones includes those in New York, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, and Las Vegas. Airports were selected based on traffic volume, the number of low-visibility days, and geographic location. According to the FAA, these buffer zones will only protect the last 20 seconds of flight.

Many airports are not currently affected by 5G. For those airports not on the list, the FAA says it does “not necessarily” mean low-visibility flights cannot occur. In some cases, like Denver International Airport, 5G is not yet being deployed. With others, the FAA says the 5G towers are far enough away to create a natural buffer.

Wireless carriers now plan to turn on the 5G C-band service. Currently, aircraft types that have received an AMOC will be permitted to conduct low visibility operations at SYR.

A press release issued by Syracuse Airport Thursday, January 20, 2022, included a statement from the SRAA confirming aircraft models using radio altimeters approved for low-visibility approaches at 5G-affected airports (including SYR) will be permitted to resume operations in low-visibility conditions.

“The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) – operator of Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) – has learned as of Thursday, January 20, 2022, aircraft models using radio altimeters that have been approved for low-visibility approaches at 5G-affected airports (including SYR) will be permitted to resume operations in low-visibility conditions. As of this statement, approximately 62% of the aircraft in the U.S. Commercial fleet have the approved altimeters onboard. At this point, aircraft manufacturers and air carriers will continue their efforts to demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the remainder of the U.S. Commercial fleet can safely operate in these 5G environments – what are known as approved Alternative Measures of Compliance (AMOC). The SRAA remains engaged with our federal partners, industry partners, and representatives in Washington D.C. to ensure continued safe and efficient airfield operations at SYR.”

Syracuse Regional Airport Authority

NewsChannel 9 will post any further updates from the SRAA.