US aviation and wireless industries to cooperate on 5G safety solution

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Aviation and wireless industries in the US have announced that they are working together to address air safety concerns about potential interference from the planned January 5, 2022 5G wireless deployment.

Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), which represents the US wireless communications industry, Airlines for America, which represents the airline industry, and the Aerospace Industries Association, which represents aircraft manufacturers, said that they are collaborating to find a “data-driven solution and deploy 5G while preserving aviation safety.” 

In a joint statement released on December 22, 2021, the three organizations said that:

“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 best technical experts from across both industries will be working collectively to identify a path forward, in coordination with the FAA and FCC.

“Our belief is that by working collaboratively in good faith on a data-driven solution, we can achieve our shared goal of deploying 5G while preserving aviation safety.

IIn early December 2021, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) issued new airworthiness directives to avoid any potential effects of the upcoming 5G rollout on aviation safety equipment.

According to the FAA, radio altimeters cannot be relied upon to perform their intended function if they experience interference from wireless broadband operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequency band (5G C-Band).

On December 22, 2021, CTIA released a media advisory saying that, “5G networks using C-band spectrum operate safely and without causing harmful interference to aviation equipment,” and also provided a fact sheet proving evidence that 5G is being used in nearly 40 countries worldwide without causing harmful interference to aviation equipment.

CTIA says that there are numerous countries that operate networks in the exact same portion of the band, and at the same power levels that U.S. 5G providers will begin using in January 2022.

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