Tag Archives: 5G

FAA says 5G could impact radio altimeters on most Boeing 737s

From Reuters:

“U.S. regulators are warning that 5G wireless operations could affect radio altimeters in most Boeing 737 aircraft and impact crew workload and airplane landings, according to a government notice posted online on Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s directive affects Boeing’s 737s, except its -200 and -200C series, the Federal Register notice said.

It added that their “radio altimeters cannot be relied upon to perform their intended function if they experience interference from wireless broadband operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequency band (5G C-Band).”

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CNN: The 5G-airlines crisis was mostly averted. Here’s what happened – and what we still don’t know

From CNN:

“Potentially abysmal air travel interruptions were narrowly avoided this week when wireless carriers made a last-minute change to their planned 5G rollout in response to fears that new cell service towers could interfere with a key component on passenger jets that allows them to safely land in low visibility conditions.

Warnings of mass flight cancellations came as AT&T, Verizon and the airline industry hashed out a deal to delay 5G deployment around major airports. And on Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration cleared a greater number of commercial airliners to fly in the situations where pilots consider possible 5G interference to be the most dangerous. Now, nearly 80% of the United States’ entire commercial airliner fleet has that clearance.
In the end, crisis seemed to be mostly averted. No planes fell out of the sky. And — with a few exceptions — air travel stayed mostly on schedule.”
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U.S. airlines warn of ‘catastrophic’ disruption from 5G rollout

From BBC:

“The 10 biggest US airlines have warned that the impending switch-on of 5G mobile phone services will cause “major disruption” to flights.”

“Airlines fear C-band 5G signals will disrupt planes’ navigation systems, particularly those used in bad weather.”

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FAA statements on 5G:

On January 16, 2022, the FAA cleared an estimated 45 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at many of the airports where 5G C-band will be deployed on Jan. 19.

The agency approved two radio altimeter models that are installed in a wide variety of Boeing and Airbus planes. This combination of aircraft and altimeter approval opens up runways at as many as 48 of the 88 airports most directly affected by 5G C-band interference.

As of Jan. 5, none of the 88 airports would have been available for landing during low-visibility conditions. The wireless companies agreed to create buffer zones for six months around airports where transmitters are in close proximity. They also agreed to delay deployment until Jan. 19 while the FAA reviewed new data detailing the location and power of wireless transmitters in all 46 U.S. markets where this service will be deployed.

Even with these new approvals, flights at some airports may still be affected. The FAA also continues to work with manufacturers to understand how radar altimeter data is used in other flight control systems. Passengers should check with their airlines if weather is forecast at a destination where 5G interference is possible.

The airplane models approved include some Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, MD-10/-11 and Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330 and A350 models. FAA expects to issue more approvals in the coming days.


FAA 5G Statement issued on January 14, 2022

The Federal Aviation Administration will require operators of Boeing 787s to take additional precautions when landing on wet or snowy runways at airports where 5G C-band service is deployed.

During the two-week delay in deploying new 5G service, safety experts determined that 5G interference with the aircraft’s radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway.

The Airworthiness Notification requires crews to be aware of this risk and to adopt specific safety procedures when landing on these runways.

The directive affects 137 aircraft in the United States and 1,010 worldwide.



FAA 5G Statement issued on January 13, 2022

The FAA is working to determine which radar altimeters will be reliable and accurate with 5G C-Band deployed in the United States. Since the agreement with the wireless companies was reached, the agency has made progress to safely reduce the risk of delays and cancellations as wireless companies share more data and manufacturer altimeter testing results arrive. The FAA expects to provide updates soon about the estimated percentage of commercial aircraft equipped with altimeters that can operate reliably and accurately in the 5G C-Band environment. Aircraft with untested altimeters or that need retrofitting or replacement will be unable to perform low-visibility landings where 5G is deployed, as outlined in Notices to Air Missions (NOTAMs) published at 0000 EST Thursday, January 13, 2022.