The long-haul airline Emirates said on Thursday that it would resume its Boeing 777 flights to the United States after stopping its use of the aircraft there due to an ongoing dispute over the rollout of new 5G services in America.
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International carriers, which are heavily dependent on the wide Boeing 777 and other Boeing aircraft, canceled early flights or switched to other aircraft on Wednesday following warnings from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer about possible interference from the new 5G signals with radio altimeters .
The FAA approved late Wednesday that several types of aircraft could land in low visibility near 5G signals, including the Boeing 777.
Among the most affected airlines by the FAA decision were Dubai-based Emirates, a crucial east-west travel airline that only flies 777 and the double-decker Airbus A380.
Emirates said its Boeing 777 service to Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Miami, Newark, Orlando and Seattle would resume Friday.
Flights to Boston, Houston and San Francisco, where Emirates deployed its Airbus A380 jumbo jet, will resume Boeing 777 flights on Saturday.
Tim Clark, Emirates' president, apologized in a statement to the airline's customers for the disruption.
"Safety will always be our top priority and we will never play on this front," Clark said. "We welcome the latest developments that will enable us to resume significant transportation connections to the United States to serve travelers and cargo ships."
He added: "But we are also very aware that this is a temporary postponement and a long-term solution would be required."
Similar 5G mobile networks have been installed in more than three dozen countries, but there are significant differences in how US networks are designed, raising concerns about potential problems for airlines.
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The Verizon and AT&T networks use a segment of the radio spectrum that is close to that used by radio altimeters, devices that measure the altitude of the aircraft above ground to help pilots land in low visibility. The Federal Communications Commission, which put a buffer between the frequencies used by 5G and altimeters, said the wireless service poses no risk to aviation.
But FAA officials saw a potential problem, and telecommunications companies agreed to delay their rollout near more than 80 airports, while the agency assesses which aircraft are safe to fly near 5G and which should have new altimeters.