Federal Aviation Administration Continues Warning 5G Frequencies May Interfere with Radar Altimeters, Other Instruments

By B.N. Frank

Aviation experts have been warning for years that 5G frequencies could cause life-threatening interference issues with aviation instruments (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).  Nevertheless, deployment continues to increase in the U.S. (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) and worldwide, hence more scary warnings that affect air travelers and likely everyone on the ground as well.

From Fox Business:


FAA plans warnings to pilots, airlines over new 5G threat to cockpit safety systems

The cockpit systems help planes land in poor weather, prevent crashes, and avoid mid-air collisions

U.S. air-safety regulators are preparing to issue warnings to pilots and airlines about potential interference with key cockpit safety systems by a new 5G wireless service slated to go live as soon as early December, according to current and former government and aviation industry officials briefed on the matter.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been drafting a special bulletin and accompanying mandates that would say certain automated features used by pilots to help fly and land planes could be affected by wireless towers on the ground transmitting the new 5G signals, these officials said. The FAA actions aren’t expected to be directed at consumers’ use of cellphones.

The cockpit systems, commonplace in modern air travel, help planes land in poor weather, prevent crashes and avoid midair collisions. The FAA has determined that if commercial pilots aren’t able to use the features, that could lead to flight cancellations, delays or diversions in 46 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas where the towers are located, these officials said.

Officials at the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates commercial use of the airwaves, and the telecom industry have pushed back on the safety concerns, saying the available evidence doesn’t support the conclusion that 5G networks will interfere with aviation. The FCC set its rules for use of the spectrum in early 2020 after reviewing the potential impact on aviation, paving the way for Verizon Communications Inc. and others to roll out service.

The FAA officials’ safety concerns aren’t satisfied, current and former government officials said. The FCC and FAA are discussing the issue, and air-safety regulators could eventually decide to issue more targeted warnings that could result in fewer travel disruptions, these officials said.

The FAA’s planned warnings are part of a long-running dispute between the aviation and telecom industries and their regulators. There have been disagreements over the seriousness of potential safety risks, data sharing and the quality of research, fueling a disconnect between efforts to protect aircraft and expand the latest wireless networks.

An FCC spokeswoman said the telecom regulator remains committed to ensuring air safety “while moving forward with the deployment of new technologies that support American business and consumer needs.”

An FAA spokesman said the agency was working with other government officials “so that aviation and the newest generation of 5G cellular technology can safely coexist.”

The final language and scope of the FAA bulletin, along with mandates and pilot alerts, haven’t been determined, current and former government officials said. The FAA can impose restrictions on U.S. flight operations and can issue warnings to avoid flying in certain areas such as war zones.

At the heart of the dispute is the U.S. rollout of 5G. Short for fifth-generation wireless, 5G technology offers internet speeds 100 times faster than today’s 4G service, potentially paving the way for new applications, revenue and jobs.

To offer 5G, telecom companies need more space on the airwaves. Wireless spectrum is like land, in that the number of available frequencies is finite. The FAA-FCC clash is just the latest in a series of disputes between U.S. government agencies seeking to balance the need to make airwaves available for faster networks, while also accommodating existing users.

Technical experts in the U.S. aviation industry worry that some frequencies used for 5G service could interfere with radar altimeters, instruments that measure the distance between aircraft and the ground. If their readings are thrown off by a few hundred feet, the aviation industry analysis has determined that could cause certain flight-control systems to malfunction.

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Earlier this year, regulators in France recommended that 5G smartphones should be turned off during flight because interference could cause errors “in instruments that are extremely critical” while landing.  Regardless, some U.S. airlines are still allowing it to be installed and unleashed (see 1, 2).  Ironically, reviews have indicated that 4G service is still more private, reliable and secure than 5G (see 1, 2, 3).

Of course, numerous other grave risks have been associated with 5G technology as well.  They include:

  • Cybersecurity risks (see 1, 2, 3)
  • Public safety risks (see 1, 2, 3)
  • Health risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8),
  • Environmental risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Unfortunately, the FCC has catered to the telecom and cable industries for decades (see 1, 2, 3).  This has led to numerous lawsuits filed against it for NOT protecting the public from unsafe levels of cell phone and WiFi radiation, 5G on Earth (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and in space, and also for allowing telecom and cable companies to overcharge Americans.

In August 2021, a federal court ruled in favor of petitioners who sued the the agency for not protecting Americans from harmful radiation exposure (see 1, 2).  More recently, an alliance in New Mexico petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take a stance on shameful telecom legislation passed in 1996.



Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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