The company issued the message to customers whose flights had been delayed by several hours on Tuesday evening as a result of the rollout of a new 5G system across the US.
The airline’s message reads: “Your flight is delayed due to potential interference caused by the implementation of a new 5G signal by telecommunications systems near Denver International Airport and its possible impact on aircraft equipment.
“If you have any concerns, please address them with the Federal Communications Commission here.”
— davidshepardson (@davidshepardson) January 19, 2022
Several major international airlines canceled flights to the United States altogether on Wednesday morning after the Federal Aviation Administration raised concerns about 5G wireless towers near airports.
Emirates, Air India, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways announced they would suspend flights after the Airlines for America trade group pressured the Biden administration over “catastrophic disruption” due to the scheduled 19 January rollout.
The high-speed 5G internet uses so-called C-band frequencies close to those used by aircraft to measure their altitude, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warning potential interference could affect sensitive plane instruments such as altimeters and significantly hamper low-visibility operations.
Allied Pilots Association spokesperson Dennis Tajer on Tuesday suggested that the rollout of 5G near airports could put the lives of passengers at risk.
“This is reckless, it’s dangerous, and it’s got to stop,” Tajer told the Today Show. “Take a pause. This is about a cellphone signal, and we’re focused on protecting lives.”