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FAA Issues Safety Alert On 5G Interference To Aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a warning to pilots that a new band of 5G might interfere with aircraft radars.

The ‘Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin’ warns “action might be required to address potential interference with sensitive aircraft electronics.”

The 5G signal operates in the same spectrum as the radar altimetres, which measure the distance of the aircraft to the ground, issue anti-collision warnings, and aid landings when visibility is low.

We reported on the potential issues with this in Australia earlier this week.

The new spectrum, called C-Band, will become operational in the U.S on December 5.

The 5G spectrum abuts radio signals used by so-called radar altimeters, which measure how close an aircraft is to the ground.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted approval for this, despite the risks.

“The FCC is committed to continuing to work with its federal partners to simultaneously preserve air safety and advance the deployment of new technologies that promote American consumer and business needs,” the agency said in a statement.

CTIA, a trade group representing the wireless industry, dismissed the FAA warning.

“5G networks using C-band spectrum operate safely and without causing harmful interference to aviation equipment,” the group said in a statement.

“C-band spectrum is critical to delivering 5G service in communities large and small across the country, ensuring all Americans benefit from these next generation networks.

“Any delay in activating this spectrum risks America’s competitiveness and jeopardises our ability to ensure global 5G leadership.”


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