AT&T and Verizon to activate new 5G frequencies January 19; airline and medivac industry warn of interference with planes; FAA imposes flight restrictions in areas of 5G deployment

On January 19, AT&T and Verizon will turn on frequencies in the C-Band
3.7 – 3.98 GHz frequency band — for additional 5G coverage.
It is unknown what other frequencies the companies will add in for this activation.

For months the airline industry has been warning about interference with their vital instruments, and that 5G, especially near airports, poses safety risks.

These airline restrictions are coming at an already difficult time for the public and the airline industry, for a highly questionable public benefit from 5G and many known hazards environmentally as well as for air safety.

From BusinessHala
December 20, 2021

The wireless industry has said the planned service poses no threat to the aircraft, while the Federal Aviation Administration has said it is concerned that the frequencies used for cellular signals could potentially disrupt cockpit systems.

Airlines are in the middle of a controversy. “If there’s any kind of weather, if there’s strong winds, if visibility isn’t good because of haze, you can’t use that equipment,” United Airlines Holdings said. Inc….

US telecommunications industry officials have made controversial claims about the security risks of the new technology. “The fear of the aviation industry rests entirely on discredited information and intentional distortions of fact,” said Nick Ludlum, a spokesman for wireless industry group CTIA. “We will launch this service in January with the most comprehensive set of protective measures in the world.”

Regulators protest over competing proposals from the US aviation and telecommunications industries to limit new 5G signals near airports. At a high-level meeting on Wednesday that included Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, officials discussed proposals from both industries to create buffer zones around airports, people familiar with the matter said.

Mr Buttigieg requested that the FCC consider the aviation industry’s proposal, some of these people said. Another person familiar with the meeting said that FCC officials described that proposal as a non-starter that would amount to a no-5G option.

Ms Rosenworcel of the FCC has said she believes officials will find a solution to allow 5G deployments quickly and securely. “I believe in the mitigation offered by the wireless industry,” she said in a December 14 press conference…

From Newser
January 18, 2022

Verizon and AT&T are set to deploy new 5G service Wednesday—and in a letter to federal officials Monday, major airlines warned there could be “catastrophic” consequences. As Axios notes, the dispute between the airlines and the wireless companies has been going on a while, with the aviation industry having previously warned that interference from 5G signals, particularly during bad weather, could force planes to divert and the FAA having announced restrictions on low-visibility landings at certain airports as a result of that. The wireless carriers have twice delayed the rollout over these concerns, CNN reports. Now, CEOs of 10 airlines including American, Delta, United, and Southwest say there could be “catastrophic disruption” to flight schedules if the C-band 5G deployment goes ahead as planned.

They’re asking the Biden administration to allow it to be “implemented everywhere in the country except within the approximate 2 miles of” certain airport runways. Per an FAA statement, there were 88 US airports that, as of Jan. 5, would not have been available for landing during low-visibility conditions after the 5G C-band is deployed. But the wireless carriers agreed that for six months, buffer zones would be created around airports with transmitters nearby in order to reduce the risk from interference, and as of Sunday, the FAA had cleared an estimated 45% of the US commercial fleet to land in low visibility at many of those airports (because those planes use newly approved radio altimeter models). That means as many as 48 of those 88 airports are now OK for low-visibility landing. In the letter, the CEOs warn that “unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded.”

From Bloomburg
January 13, 2022

  • Aviation groups girding for severe impacts starting Jan. 19
  • Despite compromise last week, flight limits still likely

U.S. regulations in many cases require commercial helicopters — including air ambulances and scores of other operators — to have a functioning device known as a radar altimeter. But new frequencies being shifted to 5G service may render them unreliable. That could make landings in remote areas dangerous and put Life Flight’s hospital landing pads in Portland and Seattle off limits, said Ben Clayton, interim chief executive officer of the Aurora, Oregon-based nonprofit.

“We have a lot of trepidation over the potential impacts,” said Clayton, who relayed details of the Saturday flight.

Wireless carriers point to research they say shows helicopters and 5G co-existing safely in other countries. But the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday restricted helicopter operations in regions in which hundreds of hospitals are located unless manufacturers can demonstrate their aircraft can withstand 5G interference. The new limits are among 1,462 imposed on flight operations that rely on radar altimeters the agency posted on Thursday.

Unlike jets, helicopters operate close to the ground — where cell towers are located — almost all of the time. They also land frequently away from airports, making them one of the most difficult aviation issues to resolve with 5G.

The issue is that new 5G signals operate in airwaves adjacent to those used by the altimeters. The wireless industry and the Federal Communications Commission, which approved the use of the frequencies, maintain the frequencies are far enough away from aircraft signals that they won’t pose any danger. But tests by aviation groups have found the devices are susceptible to interference…

See also

FAA’s request for comments —

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