Signals from dense 5G networks, the newest update of wireless communications technology, could scramble airplanes’ navigation equipment, especially altimeters, which tell pilots how far above the ground a plane is when pilots are unable to see the ground themselves due to clouds, fog, or other obstructions.
The warning was issued by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
As a result, planes and helicopters likely would be unable to rely on automated guidance systems for landings at airports where 5G signal interference is strong, such as in or close to large metro areas, the FAA said in a separate statement.
5G signals likely would overwhelm the signals from many of those systems, making them useless.
AT&T and Verizon Communications had delayed commercial activation of their 5G wireless services until 5 January while the FAA evaluated 5G’s potential hazards.
On 7 December, the FAA issued a rule banning pilots from using automated landing systems on their aircraft, which depend on altimeters, in areas where 5G signals could interfere.
“These limitations could prevent dispatch of flights to certain locations with low visibility, and could also result” in flights being diverted to land at alternative airports, the FAA said.
The rule affects more than 6,800 U.S. aircraft and all airplane manufacturers.
The FAA said the need for the rule was “urgent,” meaning the agency could enact the rule at once without waiting for public comment.
The FAA is in discussions with the Federal Communications Commission and aircraft industry representatives to negotiate details of the new rules.
There is “no evidence” of 5G radio waves posing risks to aircraft and “dozens of countries” already use the technology safely, Verizon Communications, a major purveyor of 5G technology, said in a 7 December response.
Verizon’s 5G networks will “reach 100 million Americans with this network in the first quarter of 2022,” the company said.
5G, or Fifth Generation, wireless technology uses a different frequency of radio waves than earlier versions. Waves in this range of the per unit of time—are essential not only for streaming movies, but also to manage communication among the billions of devices expected to join the Internet of Things in coming years.
5G’s signals also don’t travel as far as those of previous wireless technologies, meaning that 5G antennas will need to be mounted almost everywhere in every direction to ensure complete coverage.
TRENDPOST: We have reported on 5G’s potential dangers to human and animal health in articles such as “The 5G Gamble” (21 Nov 2018) and “FCC: 5G No Problem?” (11 Dec 2019).
Despite a growing number of peer-reviewed studies and warnings from scientists and science organizations that 5G poses serious health risks to humans and wildlife, government regulators have largely turned a blind eye to calls for caution and for delaying 5G’s commercial rollout.
TREND FORECAST: The profit priorities of business, and pressure on regulatory agencies from Big Tech’s rented politicians, will ensure that 5G spreads worldwide with minimal delay or restriction.
That will render all of us subjects in a giant experiment in public health.
As concerns mount over resulting health damage to humans, pets, and wildlife, the telecom industry will deny 5G’s responsibility while privately scrambling to redesign high-speed wireless systems to remove the dangers.