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How 5G technology could affect aviation safety

As we welcome in the new year, the aviation industry is once again revisiting the past couple of years and the new standard for global wireless technology. Most everyone is a consumer of the latest technology and as we continue to develop, our expectations for a faster network grow. That's our "need for speed" and the innovation of 5G technology.According to Qualcomm, 5G technology is intended to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, more reliability and availability, massive network capacity, and a more uniform experience to more users. Here's what we know about the concerns of 5G technology and aviation safety.RELATED: 5G set to roll out in January, FAA believes it can 'safely coexist' with aviationAs of January 5, 2022, there is a planned rollout of the new technology by ATandamp;T and Verizon Communications. Less than a month ago, Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun and Airbus Americas CEO Jeffrey Knittel have called for a rollout postponement. What is their biggest concern? Interference with instrumentation, specifically the radio altimeter. A radio altimeter measures altitude above the terrain which is presently beneath an aircraft by timing how long it takes a frequency or beam of radio waves to travel to the ground, reflect, and return to the aircraft. 5G wireless technology operates on a C-band frequency that is very similar to that of a radio altimeter. Earlier in December, the FAA also echoed their concerns by issuing airworthiness directives stating, "Radio altimeters cannot be relied upon to perform their intended function if they experience interference from wireless broadband operations," they continued to add that there are "limitations prohibiting certain operations requiring radio altimeter data when in the presence of 5G C-Band interference" for both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Several companies and airlines have expressed their concern that 5G could cause interference, due to its close operational frequency to that used by aircraft systems. For the safety of all, until we know how everything will unfold and how it will affect flight, airlines have already warned of possible flight delays in snowstorms and low visibility if 5G is deployed.
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