FAA warns 5G could affect ‘wide range’ of aircraft systems — Analysis

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States warned 5G networks might interfere with aircraft safety devices. It identified over a dozen systems that could potentially be affected.

The FAA published a broadened safety Bulletin Thursday. This bulletin highlighted new concerns regarding how 5G networks may impact aviation, and said that the FAA is working closely with telecom operators to ensure these can be resolved. “safely coexist.” 

The agency had previously warned that 5G could disrupt aircrafts’ radio altimeters – which allow planes to land in low-visibility conditions, among other things. Its latest notice says that altimeters may be able to read anomalous data, which could affect the flight operations. “wide range” of other safety systems, naming at least 17 – from terrain awareness and ground proximity, to take-off and flight control, as well as various warning systems.

Anomalous (missing or erroneous) radio altimeter inputs could cause these other systems to operate in an unexpected way during any phase of flight – most critically during takeoff, approach, and landing phases. Pilots might not detect these abnormal inputs quickly enough to ensure safe flight and landing.

An FAA rule was imposed earlier in the month to prohibit pilots using the system from low altitudes and areas where 5G signal interference could impact onboard instruments.  

5G rollout delayed over fears it may cause ‘major disruptions’ for AIRCRAFT

Thursday’s bulletin comes just one day after aviation and telecommunications firms met to discuss 5G, agreeing to share data to resolve outstanding concerns. While AT&T and Verizon previously agreed to postpone their 5G rollout to January 5, aircraft companies have continued to push for further delays.

READ MORE: Boeing & Airbus urge delay of 5G

In an earlier letter, the industry titans Boeing and Airbus warned that Joe Biden would not approve of their plans to expand. “5G interference could adversely affect the ability of aircraft to safely operate,”And could have “enormous negative impact on the aviation industry.”These issues must be addressed before 5G is widely implemented. Despite the new safety warnings from the aviation regulator, however, it remains unclear whether it will heed the companies’ request for another delay.

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