Wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on the current 5G debacle? Seems like it could cause real issues for aviation? Or is it the media making a big deal out of nothing?

Interested to hear the mentors thoughts.



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Debacle is a great word and yes it is a very big deal, particularly this time of year when bad weather and low visibility approaches are a regular occurrence. Asian carriers were canceling or delaying flights to the US until the wireless carriers agreed to pause activation.

Full disclosure, I haven’t been following the issue that closely since I fly interisland and we don’t do anything lower than Cat 1 approaches but I can tell you all the airlines are meeting daily on the subject. My question is why was this resolved apparently fairly easily around the world but not here?



I am not enough of an engineer to fully understand the issues with 5G. What I can tell you is that the airlines seem very concerned about this and are taking it incredibly serious. I guess time will tell.


Per the Wall Street Journal,

The equipment, called radar or radio altimeters, uses radio frequencies to measure the distance between aircraft and the ground.
Aviation officials worry that the cellular frequencies that telecom companies plan to activate could interfere with altimeters, potentially throwing off readings the devices take and endangering planes. The 5G service will operate in a frequency known as the C-band, which is close to the airwaves the altimeters use.

Luckily, telecom giants are delaying rollout of 5G near airports. I feel like that’s gotta be a lot of areas where 5G is viable though? Most airports are near major cities?



I’m overwhelmed with new hire training to form a thoughtful opinion. All I can say is I received at least a half a dozen emails today about the rollout and how the new 5G NOTAMS could affect the operation.

From the little amount that I’ve read it sounds like airlines are working closely with the FAA to come to an agreement on some kind of alternative method of approval.


Ben, luck has nothing to do with it. This issue has gone all the way to the White House. They had no choice.


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It isn’t just radar altimeters telling the pilots how high they are off the ground. In certain airplanes, like most Airbuses, the radar altimeter is used to switch the airplane between different modes, like landing mode. This could have major complications for these types of airplanes.