How did 5G clash with an aviation device invented in the 1920s?


The altimeters are an essential part of the 787’s landing system and actuate the reverse thrusters that slow the aircraft once it lands. Mr Lemme said a Boeing patent suggests that the function is fully automatic, meaning that even a pilot who manually lowers the 787 cannot reverse the plane’s thrusters if the altimeter fails. The 787’s weight-triggered landing gear brakes would continue to operate, as would the wing spoiler, which was only partially controlled by altimeter readings. But Mr Lemme said the absence of reverse thrusters would make it harder for pilots to stop the planes before they reach the end of the runway.

“You can definitely have some planes going through the runways,” he said.

Boeing did not respond to a request for comment.

The FAA on Friday issued a notice saying it has detected “abnormalities” that could cause the 5G initiative “regardless of weather or approach” to affect a number of the 787’s automated systems. “The presence of 5G C-band interference can result in reduced deceleration performance, increased landing distance and runway cruising,” the agency said. The notice covers 137 787 in the United States and more than 1,010 worldwide.

AT&T and Verizon’s decision to temporarily limit new 5G networks within two miles of airports should address many of these security concerns – at least for now. But it’s been years since 5G took off, raising questions as to why the airlines, FAA, wireless companies, and the FCC didn’t resolve it sooner.

Ms Furchtgott-Roth said previous warnings from aviation experts had been ignored. In December 2020, the Ministry of Transport sent a letter He warned the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that allowing 5G to operate in the recommended frequency band would cause problems for flight safety systems. He said the letter was never forwarded to the FCC and the wireless companies.

Instead, based on its own research that addressed 5G security concerns, the FCC went ahead with a scheduled auction. In February, carriers bid more than $80 billion to use this portion of the wireless spectrum for 5G.

“Wireless operators have a right to expect a return on their investment,” said Furchtgott-Roth. “But you should be very happy that the FAA is taking a strong stand to ensure people’s safety.”



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