News

5G Expansion in Limbo Due to FAA Safety Concerns

Experts disagree on whether or not there is cause for concern.

central thesis

  • The FAA has issued guidance raising concerns that 5G services from AT&T and Verizon could interfere with airplanes’ radio altimeters.
  • A detour would result in significant financial losses due to delays and detours, the airline industry suggests.
  • The telecommunications industry believes the FAA’s concerns are unfounded.

Nanostockk/Getty Images

5G services from AT&T and Verizon will be unavailable if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) goes as planned from January 2022.

The FAA initially called for a delay, arguing that the 5G C-band antenna could interfere with critical aircraft. It then issued some Airworthiness Directives (ADs) directing airlines to detour flights under certain conditions, which industry insiders say could cost billions of dollars.

The 5G impact analysis concluded that “if AD were retrospectively applied to Airlines for America member operations in 2019, approximately 345,000 airliners, 32 million passengers, and 5,400 cargo flights would have been impacted in the form of flight delays, detours or cancellations” . – American Airlines’ FAA Airworthiness Policy shared with Lifewire.

keeping the pattern

In November 2021, AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay the commercial launch of C-band 5G wireless service to January 5, 2022, after the FAA raised safety concerns about potential impacts on critical aircraft.

As the new adoption date approaches, the FAA has issued an AD requiring revisions to the flight manual to ban some flight operations that rely on the use of radio altimeters in the presence of 5G C-band wireless broadband signals.

“Despite the lack of reliable evidence of risks to flight safety, US wireless carriers have voluntarily implemented the world’s most extensive temporary safeguards.”

In a statement sent to Lifewire, Carter Yang, managing director of Industry Communications for America, said the FAA’s AD identified a safety issue that was “very disruptive” to the nation’s airspace system and the public.

AD is essentially asking airlines to not rely on radio altimeters when approaching airports near 5G C-band antennas and instead redirect to other airports. Airlines for America believes that telecommunications companies are responsible for solving the puzzle.

Airline for America Impact Analysis says “Unless 5G carriers take serious mitigation measures to address the interference problem, it will cause significant disruption and damage to the economy, given that supply chains are already thin.”

camouflage book

Michael Marcus, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University and an independent expert in wireless technology and spectrum policy, told Lifewire in an email that certain radar altimeters in nearby bands are actually vulnerable to 5G. However, he was not impressed with the FAA’s response.

“from [the] The FAA has allowed this problem to grow bigger and it has only recently started collecting data on what models are and how common they are,” he said.

As former Deputy Director of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology, Marcus has seen this happen in the past.

Marcus said the adjacent band problem is “relatively common,” noting a 30-year-old concern between using VHF broadcasts just below 108 MHz and aircraft’s instrument landing systems (ILS) just above that frequency.

“The real question is whether mobile operators will have to go head-to-head to address this situation, or will they have owners of certain models of radar altimeters that don’t meet the proper immunity standards,” Marcus said.

midway

Meanwhile, Airlines for America’s Yang said the group continues to urge the FCC and FAA to work together on practical solutions that will enable the rollout of 5G C-band technology “while prioritizing safety and avoiding disruption of aviation systems”.

Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of CTIA, a trade association representing the US wireless communications industry, and former FCC member, expressed a similar view. In her statement to Lifewire, Baker said safe flights and robust and reliable 5G service are both possible.

Telecommunication tower against the backdrop of the sunset.

Anton Petrus/Getty Images

“Despite the lack of solid evidence of a risk to flight safety, US wireless carriers have voluntarily implemented the world’s most comprehensive interim safeguards package. We are working closely with the aviation industry and in January, C-band We are joining nearly 40 countries that are using 5G safely in the world,” said Baker.

The current situation is uncertain and it is unclear whether 5G C-band service will be available from January 5, 2022, or whether the rollout will be delayed further as the two federal agencies fight for better leadership.


More information

5G Expansion in Limbo Due to FAA Safety Concerns

Experts disagree whether there is cause for concern

Key Takeaways
The FAA has issued directives concerned that 5G services from AT&T and Verizon could interfere with radio altimeters in aircraft.
The diversions will cause significant monetary losses in delays and diversions, suggests the airline industry.
The telecom industry believes the FAA’s concerns are unfounded.
Nanostockk / Getty Images

If the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has its way, you won’t be able to use 5G services from AT&T and Verizon from January 2022, as planned. 

Calling for the rollout delay, the FAA first argued that 5G C-band antennas could interfere with crucial airline equipment. It then went ahead and issued a couple of airworthiness directives (AD) ordering airlines to divert flights under certain conditions, which industry insiders say could cost billions of dollars.

“If the AD were applied in arrears to Airlines for America members’ 2019 operations, approximately 345,000 passenger flights, 32 million passengers, and 5,400 cargo flights would have been impacted in the form of delayed flights, diversions, or cancellations,” concludes an Impact Analysis of FAA’s 5G Airworthiness Directive by Airlines for America, shared with Lifewire.

Holding Pattern

In November 2021, AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay the commercial launch of the C-band 5G wireless service until January 5, 2022, after the FAA raised safety concerns about its potential impact on critical airline equipment.

As the new date of the rollout approaches, the FAA issued the ADs calling for the revision of flight manuals to prohibit some flight operations that depend on using radio altimeters when in the presence of 5G C-band wireless broadband signals.

“Despite no credible evidence of a risk to aviation safety, US wireless providers have voluntarily put in place the world’s most comprehensive set of temporary protections.”

In a statement to Lifewire, Carter Yang, Managing Director, Industry Communications for Airlines for America, said the ADs from the FAA identify safety concerns that will be “highly disruptive” to the national airspace system and the public.

The ADs essentially ask airlines not to rely on radio altimeters when approaching an airport near a 5G C-band antenna and instead divert to another airport. Airlines for America believes the onus for resolving the impasse lies with the telecom companies.

“The lack of serious mitigations on the part of 5G telecom companies to address interference issues will significantly disrupt and harm the economy at a time when supply chains are already stretched thin,” reads the Airlines for America Impact Analysis.

False Flag

Michael Marcus, an adjunct professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University and an independent expert on wireless technology and spectrum policy, told Lifewire in an email that certain radar altimeters are indeed susceptible to 5G in nearby bands. Still, he isn’t impressed by the FAA’s response.

“Since [the] FAA let this problem fester, they only recently started collecting data on which models and how common they are,” he said.

As a former Associate Chief of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ‘s Office of Engineering and Technology, Marcus has witnessed situations like these in the past. 

Calling the adjacent band issues “relatively common,” Marcus pointed to a three-decade-old concern between the use of FM broadcasting just below 108 MHz and an airplane’s Instrument Landing System (ILS) just above that frequency.

“The real issue is whether cellular carriers will have the major burden in solving this situation, or the owners of certain models of radar altimeters in aircraft that do not meet reasonable interference immunity standards,” said Marcus.

Middle Ground

Meanwhile, Airlines for America’s Yang said that the group continues to urge the FCC and FAA to work together on a practical solution that will enable the rollout of 5G C-band technology “while prioritizing safety and avoiding any disruption to the aviation system.”

A similar view was shared by Meredith Attwell Baker, President and CEO of CTIA, a trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the US, and a former member of the FCC. In a statement issued to Lifewire, Baker said that it was possible to have both safe flights and robust and reliable 5G service.

Anton Petrus / Getty Images

“Despite no credible evidence of a risk to aviation safety, US wireless providers have voluntarily put in place the world’s most comprehensive set of temporary protections. We are working closely with the aviation industry and are on track to join the nearly 40 countries safely using 5G in the C-Band in January,” assured Baker.

Things are in limbo now, and it isn’t clear whether the 5G C-band services will be available starting January 5, 2022, or if the rollout will be delayed further as the two federal bodies jostle for one-upmanship.

#Expansion #Limbo #Due #FAA #Safety #Concerns

5G Expansion in Limbo Due to FAA Safety Concerns

Experts disagree whether there is cause for concern

Key Takeaways
The FAA has issued directives concerned that 5G services from AT&T and Verizon could interfere with radio altimeters in aircraft.
The diversions will cause significant monetary losses in delays and diversions, suggests the airline industry.
The telecom industry believes the FAA’s concerns are unfounded.
Nanostockk / Getty Images

If the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has its way, you won’t be able to use 5G services from AT&T and Verizon from January 2022, as planned. 

Calling for the rollout delay, the FAA first argued that 5G C-band antennas could interfere with crucial airline equipment. It then went ahead and issued a couple of airworthiness directives (AD) ordering airlines to divert flights under certain conditions, which industry insiders say could cost billions of dollars.

“If the AD were applied in arrears to Airlines for America members’ 2019 operations, approximately 345,000 passenger flights, 32 million passengers, and 5,400 cargo flights would have been impacted in the form of delayed flights, diversions, or cancellations,” concludes an Impact Analysis of FAA’s 5G Airworthiness Directive by Airlines for America, shared with Lifewire.

Holding Pattern

In November 2021, AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay the commercial launch of the C-band 5G wireless service until January 5, 2022, after the FAA raised safety concerns about its potential impact on critical airline equipment.

As the new date of the rollout approaches, the FAA issued the ADs calling for the revision of flight manuals to prohibit some flight operations that depend on using radio altimeters when in the presence of 5G C-band wireless broadband signals.

“Despite no credible evidence of a risk to aviation safety, US wireless providers have voluntarily put in place the world’s most comprehensive set of temporary protections.”

In a statement to Lifewire, Carter Yang, Managing Director, Industry Communications for Airlines for America, said the ADs from the FAA identify safety concerns that will be “highly disruptive” to the national airspace system and the public.

The ADs essentially ask airlines not to rely on radio altimeters when approaching an airport near a 5G C-band antenna and instead divert to another airport. Airlines for America believes the onus for resolving the impasse lies with the telecom companies.

“The lack of serious mitigations on the part of 5G telecom companies to address interference issues will significantly disrupt and harm the economy at a time when supply chains are already stretched thin,” reads the Airlines for America Impact Analysis.

False Flag

Michael Marcus, an adjunct professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University and an independent expert on wireless technology and spectrum policy, told Lifewire in an email that certain radar altimeters are indeed susceptible to 5G in nearby bands. Still, he isn’t impressed by the FAA’s response.

“Since [the] FAA let this problem fester, they only recently started collecting data on which models and how common they are,” he said.

As a former Associate Chief of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ‘s Office of Engineering and Technology, Marcus has witnessed situations like these in the past. 

Calling the adjacent band issues “relatively common,” Marcus pointed to a three-decade-old concern between the use of FM broadcasting just below 108 MHz and an airplane’s Instrument Landing System (ILS) just above that frequency.

“The real issue is whether cellular carriers will have the major burden in solving this situation, or the owners of certain models of radar altimeters in aircraft that do not meet reasonable interference immunity standards,” said Marcus.

Middle Ground

Meanwhile, Airlines for America’s Yang said that the group continues to urge the FCC and FAA to work together on a practical solution that will enable the rollout of 5G C-band technology “while prioritizing safety and avoiding any disruption to the aviation system.”

A similar view was shared by Meredith Attwell Baker, President and CEO of CTIA, a trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the US, and a former member of the FCC. In a statement issued to Lifewire, Baker said that it was possible to have both safe flights and robust and reliable 5G service.

Anton Petrus / Getty Images

“Despite no credible evidence of a risk to aviation safety, US wireless providers have voluntarily put in place the world’s most comprehensive set of temporary protections. We are working closely with the aviation industry and are on track to join the nearly 40 countries safely using 5G in the C-Band in January,” assured Baker.

Things are in limbo now, and it isn’t clear whether the 5G C-band services will be available starting January 5, 2022, or if the rollout will be delayed further as the two federal bodies jostle for one-upmanship.

#Expansion #Limbo #Due #FAA #Safety #Concerns


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