Update on 5G Aviation Risks: “many operators will not make the proposed July 2023 (and in some cases the March 2023) retrofit deadline”

By B.N. Frank

A growing number of Americans don’t want 5G or 4G cell towers or antennas of any size near their homes and schools (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16).  Additionally, warnings about 5G activation causing serious aviation interference issues have Americans concerned as well.

From Reuters:

US senators seek details on airplane 5G retrofit plans ahead of deadline

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators on Wednesday asked U.S. officials to detail which airlines are in jeopardy of not meeting deadlines to retrofit planes to avoid potential 5G wireless interference.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Senator Ben Ray Lujan cited a Reuters story that said many airlines will be unable to meet looming U.S. deadlines after the world’s biggest airline trade body warned the issue could impact the summer international travel season.

We are concerned that airlines that do not meet the retrofit deadlines could negatively impact consumers – both due to flight cancellations or delays and by impeding access to needed connectivity,” the senators wrote to acting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Billy Nolen and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and asking for details on which specific airlines could be impacted.

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Nolen told Blackburn at a hearing Wednesday “we have identified a risk to the (national airspace) — one that must be addressed. We believe we have given the right amount of time to do that and so we have no plans at this point to change the timing.”

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General Willie Walsh said “many operators will not make the proposed July 2023 (and in some cases the March 2023) retrofit deadline owing to supply chain issues, certification delays, and unavoidable logistical challenges.”

The FAA in January proposed requiring passenger and cargo aircraft in the United States have 5G C-Band-tolerant radio altimeters or approved filters by early 2024.

Concerns 5G service could interfere with airplane altimeters, which give data on a plane’s height above the ground and are crucial for bad-weather landing, led to disruptions at some U.S. airports last year involving international carriers.

Verizon (VZ.N) and AT&T (T.N) in June voluntarily agreed to delay some C-Band 5G usage until July 1 as air carriers work to retrofit airplanes to ensure that they will not face interference.

The FAA is also proposing a requirement that airlines revise airplane flight manuals to prohibit low-visibility landings after June 30 unless retrofits have been completed.

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Of course, in the U.S., 5G interference issues are not isolated to aviation equipment.  In 2020, utility companies and associations filed lawsuits against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for not protecting utility infrastructure from potential electrical interference issues with 5G (see 1, 2).  In June 2022, telecom provider, SpaceX claimed Dish’s 5G satellites would cause interference issues affecting Starlink satellite service.  In July 2022, DirecTV and RS Submit warned about satellite interference issues and The Department of Defense (DoD) reported it also had been trying to resolve potential 5G network interference issues with military radar.  In August 2022, a bi-partisan group of senators requested that the FCC reconsider harmful interference risks with associated Ligado’s network before allowing it to be activated.  Fortunately in September, Ligado cancelled trial network plans, perhaps because of a report that also warned about interference.  In October 202, another report revealed that the telecom industry was aware of “known RF challenges” with 5G as well!

While we’re on the topic of wireless interference issues, in November 2022, the FCC also granted “conditional approval” for testing 6GHz Wi-Fi despite reported dangerous interference issues with it as well.

Other widely reported issues associated with 5G include poor service (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) and cybersecurity risks (see 1, 2).

The “Race to 5G”:  still a nightmare…

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

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