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Missoula airport looks ahead to nationwide 5G rollout

Posted at 3:25 PM, Jan 24, 2022

MISSOULA — The Fifth Generation of high-speed wireless technology — 5G — is causing quite the controversy at airports across the nation.

The airline industry says therollout of 5G from wireless providers will cause widespread issues for airports. With the possibility of many delays and grounded flights, there is fear that 5G will affect important safety features within aircraft.

“What's really important is that it affects the radio altimeter of aircraft, which is very important in low visibility operations,” explained Missoula Montana Airport director Brian Ellestad.

But there is good news for those who travel in and out of Missoula.

“The controversy is that 5G was rolled out, it's actually a new band," Ellestad told MTN News. "It's called a C band. And that was rolled out in 46 different markets, which affected 88 airports around the country and Missoula was not one of them.”

Ellestad says that they expect to see the 5G C-Band rollout in Missoula in December of 2023 which gives the airport plenty of time to work out some of those issues that come along with the rollout.

Travelers may run into a 5G related delay or cancellation in the future leaving Missoula to go to those bigger airports like Seattle or Salt Lake City.