‘5G can impact radio altimeters on Boeing 737s’, says FAA

The 5G wireless operations could disrupt radio altimeters in most Boeing 737 aircraft, as well as crew workload and aeroplane landings, a government notification released online on Wednesday said.

According to the Federal Register notification, the FAA’s regulation impacts all Boeing 737s except the 200 and 200-c series.

Their “radio altimeters cannot be relied upon to fulfil their intended purpose if they face interference from wireless broadband operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequency band (5G C-Band),” according to the company.

“As a result of this interference, various aeroplane systems may not correctly function during approach, landings, and go-arounds,” the FAA warned in the notice, which is set to be publicly published on Thursday.

The warning stated that this would result in “greater lightcrew burden while on approach with the flight director, autothrottle, or autopilot activated, which could result in the flight crew’s ability to maintain safe flight and landing of the aeroplane.”

Telecommunications networks are deploying 5G systems, which the FAA has previously warned could have an impact on critical aviation electronics like radio altimeters.

Following a disagreement over 5G aviation, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have promised to strengthen spectrum management coordination. The spectrum was released in January, but only after AT&T (T.N) and Verizon Communications (VZ.N) agreed to postpone the deployment of 5G wireless towers near airports.

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