US aviation, telecom groups agree on 5G data sharing

Aviation and telecom groups in the United States have said they will share data to help resolve safety concerns related to new 5G wireless service.

According to CNBC, Verizon Communications and AT&T are set to roll out 5G on January 5, 2022. Aviation groups and the Federal Aviation Administration have since flagged concerns about interference with aircraft altimeters.

The wireless trade group has said 5G will not interfere with altimeters, noting other countries have rolled out 5G without issues.

Wireless trade group CTIA, Airlines for America and the Aerospace Industries Association, said, “We are pleased that after productive discussions, we will be working together to share the available data from all parties to identify the specific areas of concern for aviation.”

The FAA last month said 5G service could interfere with aircraft radio altimeters. Earlier this month, it issued an order that could prohibit pilots from using radio altimeters to land when visibility is low.

The FAA said, “The FAA is encouraged that avionics manufacturers and wireless companies are taking steps to test how dozens of radio altimeters will perform in the high-powered 5G environment envisioned for the United States.”

Last week, airline executives raised the likelihood of flight disruptions due to the problem. They said these light cancellations, if they were to occur, would come as the industry was looking to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

United Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Scott Kirby, said, “If we go back to decades-old procedures and technology for flying airplanes, cancel thousands of flights per day. It will be a catastrophic failure of government.”

The CEOs of Boeing and Airbus recently wrote to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to support a delay to the 5G rollout and proposed limiting cellular transmissions near airports where those radio altimeters would be used.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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