American opposition to 5G deployment has been ongoing for years due to various significant risks associated with it including aviation safety (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced more warnings.
FAA issues 5G warning for Boeing 737s but says practical effects are limited
WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration has warned that 5G wireless operations can interfere with radio altimeters in Boeing 737s, impeding a crew’s ability to safely fly or land, but FAA officials stressed the issue poses little practical effect for airlines.
Despite dire-sounding language in the FAA airworthiness directive issued on Wednesday about potential effects on 737 landings, it does not apply to aircraft flying into areas where the 5G environment has been rendered safe for aviation, which the FAA said includes nearly all airports.
The overwhelming majority of commercial airports have either established 5G wireless buffer zones around them or lack 5G operations altogether, meaning that planes landing there are protected from radio interference warned about in the FAA directive, agency officials said on Wednesday.
The FAA said the directive posted on Wednesday for most of Boeing’s 737 aircraft is very similar to notices issued previously for 737 MAX aircraft, as well as 747, 757, 767 and 777 jetliners.
However unlikely as a practical matter, Wednesday’s directive warns that certain airplane systems may not properly function “during approach, landings, and go-arounds” due to interference with radio altimeters from wireless broadband operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequency band (5G C-Band).
This in turn could lead to “increased flight crew workload while on approach with the flight director, autothrottle, or autopilot engaged, which could result in reduced ability of the flight crew to maintain safe flight and landing of the airplane,” the directive said.
The notice affects some 2,400 airplanes in the United States and about 8,300 worldwide, the FAA said.
A Boeing spokesman said in a statement: “we support the Airworthiness Directive, as it mandates the same guidance that Boeing provided to operators back in January”.
Telecommunications networks are rolling out next-generation 5G systems that the FAA has previously warned could impact sensitive airplane electronics such as radio altimeters.
The Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NITA) have vowed to improve coordination on spectrum management after a dispute over 5G aviation.
Other risks identified with 5G technology include:
- Cybersecurity risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Environmental risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- Health risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
- Privacy risks (see 1, 2, 3)
- Weather forecasting satellite interference risks
- Utility infrastructure interference risks
Studies have also revealed that 4G is still better, more reliable, and safer than 5G (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Nevertheless, 5G expansion continues throughout the U.S., much of it being funded by the U.S. government.
Opposition to 5G is worldwide and this has slowed and/or stopped deployment in some locations. Since 2017 doctors and scientists have asked for moratoriums on Earth and in space (see 1, 2) and the majority of scientists oppose deployment. Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after it was activated (see 1
, 2, 3, 4). In 2019, telecom executives testified that they had NO scientific evidence that 5G is safe. Some researchers have suggested that deployment may be contributing to COVID-19 infections while others say it’s not. Nevertheless, there are health risks associated with 5G exposure as well as exposure to 4G and other sources of wireless Wi-Fi radiation (see 1, 2) and Electromagnetic Fields (aka “Electrosmog”). Additionally, last year, a federal court ruled in favor of organizations and petitioners that sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for NOT adequately protecting Americans from wireless radiation exposure (including 5G).