Flight Attendants and Pilots Call for Prioritizing Safety, Operations with Short-Term 5G Compromise

Washington, D.C. (January 3, 2022) —The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) joined forces today and called once again for the delay of AT&T and Verizon’s 5G services after the wireless companies rejected requests from Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to postpone rollout until concerns over aviation safety and operations can be addressed.

“If the telecom industry moves forward with this rollout, we will see more flight delays, more cancellations, and more potentially dangerous situations in the air,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president. “We urge the telecom industry and the FCC to work collaboratively with the DOT, the FAA and aviation industry stakeholders to reach a responsible solution that advances our telecom capability without compromising our world-leading aviation safety systems.” 

“We will not stand for corporations creating a dangerous and disruptive situation for flight crews, our passengers and our industry,” said Sara Nelson, AFA president. “This is deeply irresponsible and unnecessary. Aviation operations are already stretched to a breaking point by the ongoing pandemic. Adding strain and creating potentially dangerous conditions will only make a bad situation worse.”

In a show of unity, aviation unions, airlines, airports and the industry’s trade group, Airlines for America (A4A), have urged a delayed rollout and continued negotiations to find a solution that does not create disruptions or potentially dangerous conditions.  

“Flight crews understand the importance of strong, reliable wireless service. While we travel the country in the course of our work, we rely on our devices to keep up with family and friends, maintain our schedules, and stay connected with the world. We support 5G service, but not at the expense of safety. The skies are our workplace, and it is critical that we take all steps to protect America’s leading position in aviation safety,” said DePete and Nelson.


AFA Contact: [email protected]

ALPA Contact: [email protected]

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