Verizon and AT&T are hoping that their investment in improving 5G technology will yield promising results. In this regard, two companies have started working on C-band; But there seem to be obstacles in the way. The band, which covers the middle frequency range, is likely to have side effects, one of which is the effect on aircraft altimeters.
In fact, to land the aircraft, the pilot uses a radio altimeter to find out how high the plane is above the ground, and when the runway leaves the pilot’s field of vision, he performs the landing operation with complete safety. The Federal Aviation Administration has now banned 6,834 aircraft and helicopters from landing at airports where 5G intermediate bandwidth waves are likely to interfere with these radio altimeters.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Tuesday that thousands of US aircraft (and some helicopters) could not use many of the guided and automated landing systems designed to operate in poor visibility conditions and that there was insufficient frequency interference. Which interferes with the operation of the radio altimeter and misleads the pilots. Lynn LansfordA spokesman for the organization told Varj News Agency:
Aircraft landing in poor visibility conditions may be limited due to concerns about the impact of 5G waves on the aircraft’s radio altimeter accuracy, unless steps are taken to reduce the effects of these waves. We are committed to working with our wireless operators as well as our in-house partners to ensure that the most appropriate measures are taken to prevent flight disruptions.
Part of the FAA’s written explanation states that the new restrictions may prevent aircraft from being sent to destinations with unfavorable or unsightly weather conditions, and even force the pilot to return if he realizes that a flight has been made to one of these destinations; An issue that will delay flights; Of course, the recent ruling allows airlines and pilots to fly to destinations with specific conditions if it is proven that the altimeter of their fleet aircraft is not affected by radio signals.
It is not yet clear which airports may restrict the landing of aircraft sensitive to the 5G frequency band; But it can be speculated that this restriction will apply in areas that are predominantly located in densely populated US cities and where telecommunications companies are establishing a 5G middleband. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to issue a warning for certain airports in the future.
Verizon and AT&T agreed to postpone the launch of the C-band for the next one month (January 2022) and also suggested that the capacity of 5G towers be reduced by six months to address concerns. In general, telecom operators and the CTIA Association believe that there is no good reason to be afraid of interference; But the FAA has not yet been convinced. The American Aerospace Industry Association also wrote a letter to the FCC stating that the operators’ proposal to reduce the power of the waves was not enough and did not meet the requirements for safe landing of aircraft.
Concerns are raised about interference with the aircraft landing process while the C-band and radio altimeters do not actually operate in the same frequency range; But their boundaries are close enough to create such fear. One solution is to use a band filter for altimeters; But organizations such as the Aviation Radio Technical Commission (RTCA) have warned that it could take years to obtain permits and make changes to aircraft.