November 10, 2020
A white paper by an aviation watchdog warns of ‘catastrophic failures’ if 5G moves into the spectrum traditionally used by civil aircraft.
BY MICHAEL VERDON
A white paper by the RTCA, a private-public aviation partnership that advises the Federal Aviation Administration, warns that 5G technologies could pose a “major risk…of harmful interference” to radar on business jets and other civilian aircraft.
The paper was released last month following approval by the Federal Communications Commission for telecommunications providers to use the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequency spectrum. The FCC’s decision is part of a growing trend by regulatory agencies to make a larger section of the frequency spectrum available for 5G use. The FCC has approved an auction for potential licensees in December.
If 5G telecommunications systems are permitted to use that frequency band, said the report, “the risk is widespread and has the potential for broad impacts to aviation operations in the US, including the possibility of catastrophic failures leading to multiple fatalities, in the absence of appropriate mitigations.”