The federation’s letter comes in the wake of the global aviation industry increasing serious concerns over the possible interference of 5G signals with sensitive aircraft equipment like radio altitude meters.
Federation of Indian Pilots
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiradit
The 6,000-pilot-strong Federation of Indian Pilots has written to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia asking that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) work in tandem to create a strategy that enables the secure and efficient performance of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications networks in the C-band, the frequency band that is given for commercial telecommunications via satellites.
- The federation’s letter, dated January 4, comes in the wake of the global aviation industry increasing serious concerns over the potential interference of 5G wireless signals with sensitive aircraft equipment like radio altitude meters.
- The aviation industry’s apprehensions could dramatically curtail airline and general aviation processes in areas where 5G signals broadcasting is placed to start.
United States Federal Aviation Administration
On December 23 the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) dismissed a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) about apprehensions over the possibility of 5G signal interference with aircraft radio altimeters, following which the U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also asked U.S. phone firms to delay the rollout of 5G services.
Two of the U.S’ largest telephone service providers, AT&T and Verizon, behind initially denying the government’s request, approved a two-week delay in the 5G rollout.
In their letter, the Federation of Indian Pilots stated: “It is critical to completely understand and mitigate potential 5G signal interference with radio altimeters that are integral to aircraft safety systems. We comprehend the activation of these services is scheduled to commence shortly in select cities in India.”
Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin
The premier Indian pilot body cited the FAA issuance of a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) on the ‘Risk of Potential Adverse Effects on Radio Altimeters’ during 5G deployment, following concern that 5G signals could interrupt with the radio altimeters that airliners, bizjets, and general aviation aircraft rely on for lower altitude flight.
The alert possesses suggested activity in the form of Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) restrictions which could dramatically curtail airline and general aviation operations in areas where 5G signals broadcasting is set to start.
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Additional safety-critical features such as aircraft and obstacle collision out systems also trust reliable radio altimeter arrangement.
We at the Federation of Indian Pilots are concerned about the likely unintended consequences of not having complete protection enhancement system abilities known to pilots and about the considerable efforts to grow and communicate the mitigations to all segments of the aviation sector. These restrictions will adversely affect different aviation operations.”
While pointing out that restricting the use of safety-critical systems when in the vicinity of 5G interference, as outlined in current FIA ADs, is not a possible long-term solution, the pilot body expressed that the powers that be “should always be operating to enhance the situational understanding of flight crews, not restricting it”.
Stated the federation: “5G and aviation can safely co-exist, but it is going to take a collaborative strategy on the part of DGCA and TRAI, and stakeholders in the aviation and telecommunications industries, to resolve due problems.”
Government and industry
The pilot body called for the formation of a government-industry expert panel to collaboratively develop viable and sustainable solutions for safe deployment before 5G activation. Stated the letter: “Working concurrently, sharing and analyzing data, is moving to result in the best work.
We at the Federation of Indian Pilots’ are always ready to operate with the government to increase the security of the traveling public and the industry at large.
U.S. government told
In December, Airbus and Boeing, the world’s two largest plane makers, in a request to the U.S. government told: “5G interference could adversely impact the capability of aircraft to safely work”.
Citing research by the trade group Airlines for America, the letter by the two airlines and addressed to Buttigieg said if the FAA’s 5G rules had been in impact in 2019, about 345,000 passenger flights and 5,400 cargo flights would have faced delays, diversions, or revocations.
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