Why Airlines are fighting the 5G rollout

February 3, 2022

Despite the fact that 5G is an increasingly reliable reality, airlines have managed to partially delay its implementation. What reasons do they give for this? Do you know how this circumstance affects you?

Key Technology

Autonomous vehicles, smart cities, home automation, industrial automation, AR and VR… The multiple and valuable applications of 5G connectivity make it a key technology that cannot be dispensed with. For this reason, all business sectors and governments must cooperate so that its implementation is as agile and homogeneous as possible.

Enhanced 5G networks are now accessible to millions of Americans thanks to AT&T and Verizon activating C-band frequencies on January 19. This launch had a clear exception: the environment near some airports.

The Risk Of 5G In The Us Vs. Europe

New wireless frequencies can impact critical security systems. Consequently, airlines need a little more time to adapt to the change.

The cause of this brake on the implementation of 5G must be sought in the Federal Aviation Administration and in certain airlines. These entities maintain that the 5G repeaters cause interference that affects radio altimeters.

Pilots use radio altimeters to know how high the aircraft is, being a key safety system for taking off and landing in the event of adverse weather. According to United Airlines, the 5G frequencies deployed next to the runways could cause interference with said equipment.

Certainly, the implementation of 5G has amply demonstrated its compatibility with airport activity in more than 40 countries. Ergo, there is no reason to fear the emergence of security problems in the United States.

Clash Between Airlines And Telecommunications Companies

Due to the fear of American airlines that the deployment of 5G will reduce the safety of aircraft, it is requested that its implementation be temporarily stopped. Said measure would have a range of 2 miles around airports.

In light of the concern generated among the airlines, Verizon and AT&T voluntarily agreed to comply with their requests. Thus, they decided to keep certain 5G towers close to some runways off for a period of 6 months. However, these telecommunications companies reproached the airlines for not having taken advantage of the 2-year period that they were granted to adapt to 5G.

This Is How The American Airlines Are Working To Solve This Issue

In order to successfully acclimate to the widespread deployment of 5G, the FAA is investigating which radio altimeters are not affected by such wireless networks. As preventive measures, the pilots of the Boeing 787 are advised to take extra precautions in the event of a storm. Likewise, it is planned to use optimized altimeters so that landings can be carried out even in situations of poor visibility.

On January 16, a statement from the FAA confirmed the approval of two radio altimeter models compatible with 5G. They will be installed on numerous Boeing and Airbus aircraft. In fact, on January 19, both the Boeing 717 and 777 and the Airbus A380 were added to the list of adapted aircraft.

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