Airlines warn of flight chaos following tomorrow's 5G deployment

midian182

Posts: 7,782   +80
Staff member
In brief: The CEOs of major passenger and cargo airlines have warned of catastrophic disruption to flights when the new 5G spectrum is deployed tomorrow (January 19). The chief executives fear that “tens of thousands of Americans” could even be stranded abroad as a result of AT&T and Verizon switching on their new C-Band 5G networks.

Reuters reports that a letter signed by the CEOs was sent to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, and White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese.

"Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded," wrote the chief executives.

The concerns stem from the C-band airwaves interfering with sensitive equipment on some aircraft. This includes the altimeter, which is essential when landing in low visibility.

“Airplane manufacturers have informed us that there are huge swaths of the operating fleet that may need to be indefinitely grounded” because of the new 5G deployments, the airlines warn in the letter. “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies.”

AT&T and Verizon already delayed the rollout of their C-Band 5G from December to this week over aircraft interference concerns.

United says it faces "significant restrictions on 787s, 777s, 737s and regional aircraft in major cities like Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago."

The airlines aren’t asking for the rollout to be abandoned; they just don’t want 5G implemented within 2 miles of runways at some key airports. This distance could be reduced following further analysis by the FAA.

On January 3, AT&T and Verizon agreed to place buffer zones around 50 airports for six months to reduce interference risks, but these zones are apparently smaller than the 2 miles the airlines are requesting. The carriers argue that C-Band 5G has already been deployed in about 40 other countries without aviation interference issues.

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Toju Mikie

Posts: 278   +265
These CEOs don't understand how frequencies work. If they don't overlap, there will be no interference. There is already a guardband put in place for this by cell companies for this reason. Cell companies stop at 4ghz, altimeters are from 4.2ghz to 4.4ghz, so there is already a 200mhz gap between the two. This is a non-issue.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,468   +4,396
TechSpot Elite
These CEOs don't understand how frequencies work. If they don't overlap, there will be no interference. There is already a guardband put in place for this by cell companies for this reason. Cell companies stop at 4ghz, altimeters are from 4.2ghz to 4.4ghz, so there is already a 200mhz gap between the two. This is a non-issue.
There's clearly other interests behind all of this, its not about avoiding "danger".
 

havok585

Posts: 283   +132
"The carriers argue that C-Band 5G has already been deployed in about 40 other countries without aviation interference issues."
Yea and if there's a big accident, meaning deaths, what will they say "oops, we were wrong".

4G poles are already dangerous if they are too close to homes, that's why those that have a brain and some gray matter stil, OPT to construct over big poles or over the roofs of big towers/buildings to offset this issue.

Now imagine 5G which has a stronger radiation ouput; sensitive avionics or brain, they're both prone to interference.
 

JamesBlond

Posts: 171   +120
FAA : lets blow up a few 747's and kill a few thousand people, then we know 5G is bad ....
Passenger : am I ensured for this
FAA : its in testing so no
Passenger : then I wont fly
FAA : your insurance now covers 5G
Passenger : booking flights
FAA : due to unforeseen circumstances your husbands flight went down because of a altitude malfunction because of unknown 5G origin and insurance does not cover the unknown....
 

letsgoiowa

Posts: 62   +121
5G conspiracists in the comments aside here, there have literally been zero issues in every other country in which this was deployed. It's been tested ad nauseum but boomers afraid of "muh radiation" don't understand basic physics here. It's the same reason why we have to limit the bands on our wireless access points even though we're quite far from an airport. They somehow believe that a lil' wireless router not even on the same frequency is going to mess with their instruments over a kilometer away though our steel and concrete building...genius.
 

seeprime

Posts: 673   +885
There are too many technologically impaired people running government and businesses these days. All the FAA needed to do was have each airplane that uses digital altimeter tested to make sure they filtered out frequencies outside of the ones specified. There probably are some old planes, such as regional airlines use, that might be out of spec. Instead of being leaders and acting proactively we again see reactive nonsense.

Aren't pilots capable of recognizing when an issue is present, respond accordingly, and report it so it gets fixed, should any individual planes have imperfect altimeters?
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,487   +6,287
There are too many technologically impaired people running government and businesses these days. All the FAA needed to do was have each airplane that uses digital altimeter tested to make sure they filtered out frequencies outside of the ones specified.
I agree that there are too many technically incompetent people on the higher rungs of civilization, however, that testing task may not be all that easy depending on how many planes would need to be tested.
There probably are some old planes, such as regional airlines use, that might be out of spec. Instead of being leaders and acting proactively we again see reactive nonsense.
Obviously, they are aware of possible issues, and steps should have been taken long ago to make sure that the issues, if any, were corrected.
Aren't pilots capable of recognizing when an issue is present, respond accordingly, and report it so it gets fixed, should any individual planes have imperfect altimeters?
I'm not a pilot, so maybe I don't understand, however, a pilot is supposed to fly their plane and report problems with a piece of equipment that malfunctions while they are flying it? Maybe they have backup instrumentation, but what you suggest seems like it could easily be dangerous, to me in my little mind.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,204   +2,593
TechSpot Elite
These CEOs just need to wear their tin foil hats and everything will be just fine like it was with 2G, 2G and 4G. Maybe they could start marketing tin foil hats to people, explaining that foil these days is made of aluminum and is therefore not as effective as elemental tin.

I don't know how people come to think like this but I guess that religion is a part of it. If it's considered acceptable to believe in things that are unbelievable, then people will start to believe all kinds of insane crap. :laughing:
 

theruck

Posts: 543   +342
These CEOs don't understand how frequencies work. If they don't overlap, there will be no interference. There is already a guardband put in place for this by cell companies for this reason. Cell companies stop at 4ghz, altimeters are from 4.2ghz to 4.4ghz, so there is already a 200mhz gap between the two. This is a non-issue.
but there is no CEO in the world who would put his career on it
 

monte

Posts: 12   +7
These CEOs don't understand how frequencies work. If they don't overlap, there will be no interference. There is already a guardband put in place for this by cell companies for this reason. Cell companies stop at 4ghz, altimeters are from 4.2ghz to 4.4ghz, so there is already a 200mhz gap between the two. This is a non-issue.
It is an issue if people believe a lie and act accordingly. Behavior is based on belief, not truth. Sad
 
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hwertz

Posts: 129   +68
I don't know what the FAA's deal is here.

The FCC models showed with no exclusion zone whatsoever, there'd be no interference unless a radio were EXTREMELY poorly designed. There's no indication that any real radio is actually that poor at rejecting out-of-band emissions but OK, better safe than sorry -- so they did modelling with a small exclusion zone around airports (a matter of excluding 10-20% of the CBand for a few hundred feet around the runways) and found that would eliminate interference even with the hypothetical worst-case condition radio, and this was what the FCC proposed. In addition, France and a few countries have had C-Band up for a year or two, with less exclusion zone than the FCC was already proposing, with ZERO -- that is ZERO -- interference or problems. So why is the FAA taking an anti-science stance, both based on theory AND practice, and demanding a stricter exclusion than has been shown to be neeeded, again both by modelling and in actual practice? I have no idea, but it's honestly ridiculous.
 

hwertz

Posts: 129   +68
"The carriers argue that C-Band 5G has already been deployed in about 40 other countries without aviation interference issues."
Yea and if there's a big accident, meaning deaths, what will they say "oops, we were wrong".

4G poles are already dangerous if they are too close to homes, that's why those that have a brain and some gray matter stil, OPT to construct over big poles or over the roofs of big towers/buildings to offset this issue.

Now imagine 5G which has a stronger radiation ouput; sensitive avionics or brain, they're both prone to interference.
Non-sense and gibberish.
1) There would have already been reports of altimeter problems if there were going to be. These are heavily trafficed airports, some magic condition is not going to occur where suddenly the altimeter quit that wouldn't have turned up already. They also based their setup (and the setup the FCC proposed before the FAA butted in) on actual science, they modelled how much exclusion they'd need, went with it, and found it to be 100% effective.

2) "4G poles" are not dangerous. The in-town ones run under 100 watts of power, and this power follows the inverse square law; stay a few feet away from it and you'll get lower RF exposure than you would get using your cell phone.

3) Radios use RF emissions not "radiation", you're intentionally using the term to imply some relationship to ionizing radiation like Plutonium might produce with radio transmissions, there is none. But no, 5G does not have a "stronger output" compared to 4G, the power output on the site is set, per frequency band, based on how much area they expect the site to cover. I think you'll find, for instnace, where T-Mobile has replaced 600mhz 4G with 600mhz 5G that they have not increased the power at all.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,107   +1,641
Whatever the issue is or isn't, how is it possibly getting surfaced as a national policy issue this late in the game?!? Obviously no one is going to tolerate a genuine incompatibility with deployed aviation infrastructure, which the 5G equipment manufacturers and the wireless operators would have known years ago. Whatever question(s) exist here, should have been asked and answered years ago before 5G got whatever licenses and permits it requires. Bringing them up now makes no one look good.
 

hwertz

Posts: 129   +68
Whatever the issue is or isn't, how is it possibly getting surfaced as a national policy issue this late in the game?!? Obviously no one is going to tolerate a genuine incompatibility with deployed aviation infrastructure, which the 5G equipment manufacturers and the wireless operators would have known years ago. Whatever question(s) exist here, should have been asked and answered years ago before 5G got whatever licenses and permits it requires. Bringing them up now makes no one look good.
Agreed 100%. Articles I saw pointed out, for instance France, their FAA-equivalent and FCC-equivalent (or maybe CTIA-equivlanet -- Cellular Technology Industry Association), hashed this out over a year before deployment, and it only took a matter of a week or 2 since they could agree based on a scientific basis. They excluded some fraction of the band right near the runways, and a little further area where they require the sites to have "downtilt" so they are not beaming the C-Band into the airspace near the airports.
 

hwertz

Posts: 129   +68
I am trying to figure out if 5G or Covid has more misinformation
I know right? I think there's a lot of overlap there (same people believing both sets of misinformation) but really not sure. What amazes me is how many of the "cell phone radiation" types will worry about cell towers (it's always a "tower" even if it's a microcell..) but will gleefully plaster their phone to the side of their head, not even a wired headset to try to cut down on that exposure, which honestly will be by far the highest source of exposure they encounter unless they climb a cell site.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,107   +1,641
That there are lots of hoopleheads that will believe all sorts of voodoo does not surprise me.

That there are major airline CEOs who are worried about this, and only getting around to expressing that worry in the final days of a multi-year process, really does kind of shock me. If their letter referenced say eight previous formal objections over the past four years, I'd say the process broke down downstream of them. If this is their first letter, something truly went wacko here.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 304   +186
5g, especially the mmwave, is scam created by 3gpp members (telecom equipment manufacturers) to grab money from service provider and consumers.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,204   +2,593
TechSpot Elite
3) Radios use RF emissions not "radiation", you're intentionally using the term to imply some relationship to ionizing radiation like Plutonium might produce with radio transmissions, there is none. But no, 5G does not have a "stronger output" compared to 4G, the power output on the site is set, per frequency band, based on how much area they expect the site to cover. I think you'll find, for instnace, where T-Mobile has replaced 600mhz 4G with 600mhz 5G that they have not increased the power at all.
I agree with the spirit of your post but RF emissions are a form of radiation (the word "radio" comes from "radiation". However, so too is everything in the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Radiation is just emitted energy and includes all forms of electromagnetic waves (like radio and micro), all forms of light (infrared, visible light and ultraviolet) and all forms of high-frequency rays (alpha, beta, gamma and cosmic).

People hear the word "radiation" and immediately think of Chernobyl. If they only knew the truth, that most forms of radiation aren't dangerous, including the radiation created by cellphones, pagers, wireless mice and keyboards, Bluetooth devices, remote controls, etc. :laughing:
 
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Puiu

Posts: 5,468   +4,396
TechSpot Elite
"The carriers argue that C-Band 5G has already been deployed in about 40 other countries without aviation interference issues."
Yea and if there's a big accident, meaning deaths, what will they say "oops, we were wrong".

4G poles are already dangerous if they are too close to homes, that's why those that have a brain and some gray matter stil, OPT to construct over big poles or over the roofs of big towers/buildings to offset this issue.

Now imagine 5G which has a stronger radiation ouput; sensitive avionics or brain, they're both prone to interference.
If only the technology actually worked the way you described it :)