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IPFS News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

FAA Will Impose Flight Restrictions On Some Flight Operations Over 5G

• by Naveen Athrappully

AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay the use of C-Band spectrum until Jan. 19, a move that was endorsed by the White House. This extension would give the FAA more time to study and evaluate how to minimize the disruption to radar altimeters, while preparing airline companies for any changes.

The telecom companies, which won access to almost all the C-Band spectrum in an $80-billion auction, had earlier agreed to adopt 5G deployment with similar precautions as that of France.

The crux of the issue lies in the fact that radar altimeters, an important piece of safety equipment used in aircraft, use frequencies close to C-band. 5G services use C-band radio spectrum frequencies between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz that may prove hazardous to flight safety. Altimeters assess the airplane's height above the ground and inform other safety sensors within the craft like collision-avoidance systems and navigation instruments.

As the situation currently stands, the proposed 5G deployment would result in modifying flight schedules and altering other aspects of the aviation network. The FAA is working towards mitigating these disruptions as they investigate the precautionary measures needed to move forward.

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