Update on the Impacts of 5G Cellular Service at SYR

Syracuse, New York – The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) has learned of and continues to receive new information and guidance regarding the launch of 5G cellular service and its impact on aircraft operations at Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expanding its exclusion zones around all impacted airports – including SYR – from one mile to three miles, within which 5G signal strength will be significantly reduced. This should now qualify airports with those exclusion zones – including SYR – for AMOC operations (Alternative Measures of Compliance).

Aircraft manufacturers – such as Boeing, Embraer, and Airbus – are responsible for acquiring AMOCs from the FAA. As of this release, about 45% of the commercial aircraft fleet have received approval for AMOCs and the aircraft manufacturers continue to seek additional AMOCs.

The SRAA continues to await FAA guidance regarding the list of affected airports and approaches. An approach is how airplanes navigate to the airport in low visibility situations, providing vertical and horizontal guidance to the runway without visual reference to the ground. While certainly not guaranteed, we expect SYR to be on this list from the FAA. This means aircraft types that have received an AMOC will be permitted to conduct low visibility operations at SYR.

In the short term, it is expected that some aircraft types will not immediately receive an AMOC. Due to SYR’s diverse fleet mix, the SRAA does expect some impacts to operations, although the precise level of impact is difficult to quantify.

“This is an incredibly unfortunate situation right now for our industry as a whole and most importantly, our passengers,” said SRAA Executive Director Jason Terreri. “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.”

The SRAA expects this fluid situation to continue evolving rapidly over the next 24-48 hours.