Could 5G Rollout Affect Safety of Flights? Aviation Industry Said to Have Expressed ‘Deep Concern’

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised significant concerns about aviation security’s plan to use the spectrum for 5G wireless networks and is planning to issue a formal warning about the issue, according to sources and Reuters. According to a letter seen.

The aviation industry has warned against plans to use C-band spectrum for more than a year. Network carriers are expected to start using spectrum starting December 5 in 46 markets.

FAA Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims said in a previously unreported October 6 letter that the agency “shares a deep concern about the potential impact to aviation safety, resulting in interference with radar altimeter performance.” 5G Network operation in the C band.”

An FAA spokesman said Friday that it “continues to engage with other agencies so that aviation and the latest generation of 5G cellular technology can coexist safely.”

NS Federal Communications Commission said Friday it remains committed to ensuring air safety as the agency’s successful track record demonstrates, while moving forward with the deployment of new technologies that support US business and consumer needs.

The FAA held a lengthy meeting with the aviation industry on October 14 on this issue. Sources said FAA and FCC officials have had several discussions on the issue.

The FAA plans to soon issue a special airworthiness information bulletin and an airworthiness directive regarding the issue, two officials told Reuters, confirming the Wall Street Journal report.

The aerospace and airline sector met with the FCC in August, Warning Without the change “major disruptions to the use of the national airspace system can be expected from the rollout of 5G” and said the FAA would be forced to “significantly reduce aviation operational efficiencies”.

Wireless trade group CTIA said on Friday that 5G networks can safely use C-band spectrum “without harmful interference to aviation equipment”, and that 40 countries have a number of active 5G networks using this spectrum band. Cited … any delay in activating this spectrum puts America’s competitiveness at risk. “

A long-term solution is to retrofit some altimeters with “out-of-band filters”, but this could take years and “several thousands of civilian aircraft are likely to be affected, the aviation industry said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021