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Is 5G technology a risk for aviation?

Andy Vilchez
4 min read

5G technology is one of the great advances expected in 2022.

Is 5G technology a risk for aviation? – Technology – WebMediums
5G technology could pose a big problem for airlines.

The arrival of this technology has come with a serious problem, and that is that it could have a negative impact on the aviation industry.

Recently the main executives of Boeing and Airbus, the two most important aircraft manufacturers in the world, released a letter in which they express this problem.

These companies have petitioned the United States government to delay the launch of the technology.

In the letter they state that 5G technology can become a serious problem for the aeronautical industry. And there are doubts regarding this technology and its effect with electronic components in aircraft.

As has been known, 5G in the C band could cause interference in aircraft systems. Of course, this would represent a serious problem for the safety of the passengers.

The letter was made public a day before the date on which 5G technology was scheduled to be deployed in the United States. And it is that according to the schedule that had been established, this January 5 Verizon and AT&T would implement these services.

How does 5G affect airplanes?

Is 5G technology a risk for aviation? – Technology – WebMediums
Effects of 5G technology on aircraft systems.

Despite what many think, 5G technology could interfere with some vital systems on an aircraft.

As both Boeing and Airbus have warned, 5G can affect aircraft radio altimeters. This is a piece of equipment that is responsible for measuring the altitude of the plane and that it mainly uses to land when there is no good visibility.

The bands that will be used to deploy 5G technology are 3.7 and 3.8 GHz.

Aircraft radio altimeters operate at a frequency very close to these, which can cause problems with this important landing device.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) also spoke out on this and have indicated that more than 6,800 aircraft and helicopters would be unable to use their guided landing systems.

These systems are vital for aircraft, especially when there is insufficient visibility.

Threats with lawsuits

The airlines threatened the operators by filing a lawsuit to stop the deployment of this technology.

By alleging the safety of the passengers it was very likely that a judge would delay this launch. However, an amicable agreement was reached to delay the deployment of 5G technology in the country.

Due to pressure from airlines against the implementation of 5G technology, carriers AT&T and Verizon have agreed to postpone the deployment of this technology for two weeks.

That is, the new date for the launch will be next January 19.

This agreement was made at the last minute and was made between the operators and the United States Ministry of Transportation. Recall that this is not the first delay, since this technology was initially to be deployed on December 5.

The United States is not the only country concerned

Is 5G technology a risk for aviation? – Technology – WebMediums
A problem that affects everyone.

Although this has not been widely echoed, the truth is this is not the first time that this type of problem has been raised. And it is that the aviation authorities of France and the United Arab Emirates have also expressed their concern.

In these countries, laws have been created that prevent 5G stations from being installed near airports. Although this does not eradicate the problem 100%, it does reduce the effects that this technology has on aircraft.

US airlines are seeking to see these types of restrictions implemented, which have already been implemented in other countries, with good results.

We will have to wait to know what the final agreement will be between the government, the operators and the airlines.