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Ensuring Safe Rollout of 5G Networks on Airlines

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FAA: Only 45% of US commercial fleet can withstand 5GFAA: Only 45% of US commercial fleet can withstand 5G

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments to work carefully with the aviation business to make sure that aviation and incumbent aviation security techniques can safely co-exist with new 5G services.

While IATA acknowledges the financial significance of making spectrum accessible to assist next-generation business wi-fi telecommunications, sustaining present ranges of security of passengers, flight crews, and plane should proceed to be one of the governments’ highest priorities. The name got here because the business was assembly in , Qatar on the 78th IATA Annual General Meeting.

“We must not repeat the recent experience in the United States, where the rollout of C-band spectrum 5G services created enormous disruption to aviation, owing to the potential risk of interference with radio altimeters that are critical to aircraft landing and safety systems. In fact, many countries have successfully managed to facilitate the requirements of 5G service providers, while including necessary mitigations to preserve aviation safety and uninterrupted services. These include, for example, Brazil, Canada, France, and Thailand,” stated Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General.

Before deciding on any spectrum allocations or conducting spectrum auctions, IATA referred to as for governments to make sure shut coordination and mutual understandings between nationwide spectrum and aviation security regulators so that every frequency allocation/project is comprehensively studied and is confirmed to not adversely influence aviation security and effectivity. Robust testing in coordination with aviation subject material specialists is critically necessary in offering obligatory info.

Measures which have already been utilized by some governments embrace:

  • Ensure thorough testing and enough spectrum separation between 5G C-band deployments and 4.2-4.4 GHz frequency band utilized by present radio altimeters
  • Clearly codify and implement the utmost energy restrict for 5G C-band transmission and downward tilting of 5G antennae, significantly within the neighborhood of flightpaths
  • Establishment of enough 5G C-band prohibition and precautionary zones round airports

IATA famous that airways working to/from and throughout the US proceed to deal with the results of the rollout of 5G, together with a pending airworthiness directive from the Federal Aviation Administration requiring them to retrofit/improve radio altimeters at their very own expense to allow the respective plane to proceed to make the most of CAT II and CAT III low-visibility approaches at many US airports the place 5G C-Band service is at present or will likely be deployed in future. The well timed availability of upgraded altimeters is a priority, as are the price of these investments and the shortage of certainty concerning the long run spectrum surroundings. Furthermore, 19 extra telecommunications corporations are scheduled to deploy 5G networks by December 2023.

“FAA’s unilateral decision to require airlines to replace or upgrade their existing radio altimeters – which are approved by both the FAA and the US Federal Communications Commission – by July 2023 is deeply disappointing and unrealistic. The FAA has not even approved or certified all the safety solutions that it will require, nor have systems providers been able to say with certainty when the equipment will be available for much of the fleet. So how can there be any confidence in the timeline? Furthermore, FAA can provide no guarantee that airlines will not have to carry out further upgrades to radio altimeters as even more powerful 5G networks are deployed in the near future. Safety is our highest priority, but it cannot be achieved with this rushed approach. The FAA needs to continue working with all stakeholders collaboratively and transparently, including the FCC and the telecom sector, to define solutions and deadlines that reflect reality,” stated Walsh.

The International Civil Aviation (ICAO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) each have acknowledged and reminded their Member States and Administrations of the significance of making certain that present aviation techniques and companies are free from dangerous interference(2). This will turn out to be much more important as increasingly spectrum is being allotted to new technology telecommunications companies.

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