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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) allows 5G towers nearer airports than previously permitted

Even though the groundbreaking faster network speed is something everyone wants, it has some downside. The 5G wireless towers are known for their high frequency, impacting aircraft's transmission with the airport. But after, the previous study currently shows the 5G wireless or cell towers can be placed much closer to airports without causing any disturbance to the aviation industry.

According to the FAA, they cleared the way for AT&T and Verizon's mission to deploy more towers to broadcast 5G. The 5G spectrum has its wavelengths, and according to a previous study by FAA, they were pretty hesitant about using 5G in the aviation industry.

Among many other cutting-edge techs we use every day, networking upgrades are basic ones. But even those undergo many tactical experiments on the various effect on surroundings.

So as per a previous study, the FAA was in the mobile communication network company's way in placing more wireless cell towers. But things changed as the FAA made an official statement that the 5G cell towers can be placed much closer to airports without causing any trouble in aviation communication.

The C band of 5G cell towers, general wireless signals and other networking features can coexist. It is the mission of the FAA to make sure these signals are working together without overlapping. So, in the United States, the input from FAA is taken as a serious precaution. Without their consent, networking communication companies could not place C band 5G cell towers. FAA gives a few new locations permission to Verizon and AT&T to place towers. Some of them are much closer to airports than before.

A disruptive mix of uneven signals, a combination of power levels, flight proximities, and other factors creates a mixed situation where the FAA has to impose restrictions to run the aviation industry without any effect. So, using radio altimeter equipment close to 5G network altimeters needs safe integration.

FAA has given out a statistical survey where 89 per cent of aircraft can run free of worries, greater than 980 per cent of approved aircraft, even when there is a C band near them. Another 11 per cent, which is another 50 per cent to 89 per cent of aircraft, may find themselves in trouble.

During the 5th January to 18 deployment delay, the FAA receive 5G transmitter location and power level information from companies providing them. A facilitated data sharing between avionics manufacturers and wireless companies took place. The FAA educated stakeholders and determined a GPS guided approach. They also studied how they can demonstrate altimeters in 5G C-band environments. The Altimeter Method of Compliance (AMOC) process is its proper term.

As the FAA approves radar altimeters adjustments to the privately-owned helicopters and thousands of airliners, it is essential to take notice of their frequencies overlapping each other. Each has its radio spectrum where the frequency is passed, and the 5G C-band was an additional one.

A spokesman for CTIA, Nick Ludlum, talked as the face of FAA and FCC, where he said the positive development "highlights the considerable progress in the wireless industry, aviation industry."

The imposed FAA regulations on flights due to the 5G service by AT&T and Verizon Communications began in 46 regions on 19th January. As 90 per cent of the US commercial aircraft is at least partially shielded from 5G interference, it can run into most airports. The statement is made on FAA's website, where a dedicated report has been sent out to companies interested in developing the 5G infrastructure.

A few regional jet flights are cancelled due to the implications, and other than that, all other aircraft are given a green signal that falls within the guideline of the FAA.


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