5G safeguards to prevent catastrophic aviation crisis

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5G safeguards to prevent catastrophic aviation crisis
5G safeguards to prevent catastrophic aviation crisis

Prohibiting passenger and cargo flight operations in the vicinity of 5G C-Band wireless transmitters unless they are approved by the FAA, the proposed directive, which would take effect in February 2024, is similar to one that took effect in December 2021

The United States is proposing a new safety protocol that would require having 5G C-Band-tolerant radio altimeters or installing approved filters by passenger and cargo aircraft in the country by early next year.

The proposal from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) comes after concerns that 5G service could interfere with airplane altimeters led to disruptions at some US airports earlier this year.

Crucial for bad-weather landings, altimeters provide aviation operators with data on a plane’s height above the ground.

Prohibiting passenger and cargo flight operations in the vicinity of 5G C-Band wireless transmitters unless they are approved by the FAA, the proposed directive, which would take effect in February 2024, is similar to one that took effect in December 2021.

As airlines work to retrofit airplanes to prevent interference, US network operators Verizon and AT&T in June voluntarily agreed to delay some C-Band 5G usage until July this year.

However, some international airlines have privately expressed reluctance to install filters absent a legal requirement from the FAA.

Wireless group CTIA said “the FAA’s schedule for altimeter updates is reasonable and practical. 5G in the C-band coexists safely with air traffic.”

Over aviation safety concerns, in October, acting FAA director Billy Nolen sought a delay in some 5G C-Band transmissions from smaller operators.

Nolen urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in an official letter, to mandate the voluntary mitigations AT&T and Verizon had agreed to earlier this year to 19 smaller telecoms and other spectrum holders.

Airline CEOs, last year had warned of a potential “catastrophic aviation crisis” that 5G could cause. They claim that it could render a significant number of aircraft unusable, causing chaos for U flights and potentially stranding tens of thousands of passengers.

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