US: Airbus, Boeing concerned about 5G interference to flight equipment

US: Airbus, Boeing concerned about 5G interference to flight equipment

Aerospace companies Airbus and Boeing have both voiced concerns of the US aviation industry regarding the potential interference caused by 5G to the working of vital flight safety equipment.

In a letter, co-signed by Jeff Knittel, CEO of Airbus Americas, and David Calhoun, CEO and President of The Boeing Company, addressed to the United States Secretary of Transport, Pete Buttigieg, the two have expressed, in detail, the shared concerns of the industry regarding the implementation of 5G in the country, claimed an Airbus spokesperson.

According to the letter, Airbus and Boeing report that they have been working with various stakeholders in the US aviation industry to understand the potential interference that 5G may cause in the working of radio altimeters, a device responsible for measuring a plane’s elevation above ground.

Boeing has stated that the aerospace industry is focusing on evaluating and addressing any possible 5G interference with radio altimeters, adding that the firm is collaborating with various airlines, aviation authorities, industry groups, as well as government leaders to effectively ensure continued operational safety within aircrafts across the globe.

This intervention further elevates pressure of US regulators who are dealing with a growing dispute between mobile operators and airlines over the induction of high-speed mobile broadband technology in the country.

Telecom operators in the US, Verizon, and AT&T, had obtained licenses that allowed them to use 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands on December 5th. However, the launch was postponed in November after aviation regulators across the nation expressed concerns over the signal possibly interfering with their altimeters.

In response, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), had requested further information on the instruments that are working on the same frequency bands that 5G does, and issued a directive that asked for limited use of radio altimeters under certain situations.

This move had incited fear among US airlines over potential costs.

In response, Verizon and AT&T had written to the Federal Communications Commission in November that they intend to start deploying 5G network from January 2022 onwards and will take extra safety measures, while the FAA works on its investigation, until July 2022.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.