On Jan 19, 2022, AT&T and Verizon flipped the switch on their 5G networks. These networks operate between 3.7-3.98 gigahertz within the C-Band frequency spectrum. This frequency range is close to the frequencies used by the radar altimeters installed in most commercial and business aircraft. The radar altimeter provides real-time measurements of the aircraft’s altitude over terrain and obstacles. It’s a critical piece of equipment in today’s integrated cockpits.
The FAA, DOT, Lawmakers, and others in the aviation community have expressed concerns about the potential for the 5G network signals interfering with radar altimeters. Both AT&T and Verizon have agreed to temporarily delay putting transmitters near certain airports in response to the concerns from the aviation industry. This delay will give us time to further understand the impact of 5G on aviation safety.
FAA SAFO 21007 Date: 12/23/21 - https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/safo/
To date, the FAA has issued more than 1,300 NOTAMs related to enroute or terminal 5G interference. These NOTAMs restrict operations using Autoland, HUD/enhanced vision systems, and helicopter autopilot hovering unless the operator is using alternate methods of compliance outlined in the FAA’s recently released airworthiness directives on 5G.
The 5G and radar altimeter concerns are not yet fully resolved. We encourage you to stay informed. Here are a few more links to relevant websites.
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