by Gregory Wallace and Brian Fung | Nation World News
Mobile phone carriers have agreed to a further delay in launching some 5G service to prevent interference with airplane technology, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday.
The FAA said the delay, for an additional year, would allow more time for permanent improvements: replacing or filtering instruments that measure the aircraft’s distance from the ground, called radar altimeters. Promises of the new technology include faster speeds, but aviation officials say radio waves can be picked up by radar altimeters in some cases.
The new timeline prompted concerns from major airlines and operators of regional jets, the latter of which would be subject to an even more aggressive end of the 2022 deadline. The Regional Airline Association said the FAA is “pressuring airlines to meet impossible deadlines.”
“The airlines are to blame for a process that should have taken place before telecommunications expanded to aviation used spectrum,” said RAA CEO Faye Malarkey Black. “Our government partners should not take into account the lack of inter-agency coordination in the airline industry.”
Airlines for America, a trade group that represents major airlines, wrote in a letter that “changes affecting avionics performance have always been dependent on well-considered industry consensus standards, thorough testing, and critical FAA certification oversight, which are often measured in years.”
“We have serious concerns that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has placed the burden on the aviation industry to act in a way that would previously only be considered by the FAA, being reckless in the context of design changes in safety-critical avionics,” the letter reads. Is.
The letter added that security “will be jeopardized by the hasty approach to avionics modifications amid pressure from telecommunications companies.”
Dan Stohr, spokesman for the National Air Carriers Association, with members including budget airlines, said it would “continue to express our concerns and provide a way to most safely obtain aircraft equipped with the methods necessary to operate the aircraft safely.” Will find out the way.”
The FAA said wireless carriers voluntarily offer an additional year of delay. The timeline calls for retrofitting smaller regional jets “by the end of 2022” and larger jets by the summer of 2023.
An AT&T spokesperson told Nation World News that work in recent months has allowed it to develop “a more tailored approach to controlling signal strength around runways” for the C band, a use for 5G. part of the radio spectrum to be carried.
An AT&T spokesperson said, “While our FCC licenses allow us to fully deploy much-needed C-band spectrum for now, we have chosen in good faith to implement these more customized precautionary measures so that Give the airlines extra time to take back the equipment.” “We appreciate the FAA’s support of this approach, and we will continue to work with the aviation community as we move toward the end of all such voluntary measures by next summer.”
Verizon executive vice president Craig Silliman told Nation World News, “Voluntary limits on our 5G network deployment around airports will be removed in the coming months, meaning more consumers and businesses can benefit from the tremendous capabilities of 5G technology.” Will happen. “
“Today’s announcement identifies a route that will enable Verizon to make full use of our C-band spectrum for 5G around airports at quick and defined times,” Silliman said.
Industry and government officials have held several meetings on the matter this year, most recently on Friday.