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Airlines warn of 'catastrophic' crisis when new 5G service is deployed

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
We have been working on 5G for how many years? Great timing Airline Industry!

Airlines warn of 'catastrophic' crisis when new 5G service is deployed

U.S. airlines and cargo carriers on Monday warned that the new 5G wireless service set to deploy Wednesday could ground flights, potentially stranding thousands of Americans overseas and delaying the delivery of key goods.

In a letter to Biden administration officials, executives of major carriers wrote that C-band 5G causes disruptions to airplanes' instruments that could make "huge swaths" of the U.S. fleet unusable. They noted that by Wednesday's deadline, most of the nation's large airports will be under 5G-related flight restrictions from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

"This means that on a day like yesterday, more than 1,100 flights and 100,000 passengers would be subjected to cancellations, diversions or delays," chief executives of Delta Airlines, United Airlines, FedEx, UPS and others wrote in the letter.

The executives urged U.S. officials to prevent 5G from being implemented within 2 miles of affected airports until the FAA figures out a way for affected airplanes to fly safely or risk a "catastrophic disruption" to passenger flights and the global supply chain.

"Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies," they wrote in a letter to White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Reuters first reported the details of the letter Monday.

The letter comes after the FAA on Sunday said that it had cleared an estimated 45 percent of the U.S. commercial airplane fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports where the new 5G service would be deployed. The agency is expected to approve more aircraft soon.

Earlier this month, Verizon and AT&T agreed to delay the 5G rollout until Jan. 19 at the request of Buttigieg. The service was previously set to go into effect Jan. 5.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Subject: 5G Network Activation Update
Date & Time: 18Jan 12:01
5G Network Activation Update

Fellow pilots,

The 5G C-Band networks of AT&T and Verizon remain scheduled for activation at 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday morning, January 19 (11:00 PM CST Tuesday night, January 18). This message is to inform you of two important things to look for tomorrow as we upload the 5G Fleet Bulletins into your Comply365 and use the Read & Acknowledge mobileCCI notification to alert you that these bulletins are available and must be read before flying after 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday morning, January 19.
  • Read & Acknowledge Message - This will be our first operational use of the Read & Acknowledge CCI message, so please take a moment to refer to FOM 1c.7.3 if you would like more information about this message. In short, when you launch mobileCCI tomorrow afternoon, a pop-up window will open directing you to read a short message and then press the Acknowledge prompt. The message will remind you to read the 5G Fleet Bulletin in your Comply365 before operating after midnight on Wednesday morning. We anticipate sending the Read & Acknowledge message to mobile CCI around noon CST on Tuesday.

  • 5G Fleet Bulletins – These bulletins contain important guidance for conducting a flight at a 5G NOTAMed airport. These bulletins must be read before flights landing after midnight EST on January 19. The 5G Fleet Bulletins should be available for study near mid-day on Tuesday, January 18.
Your Flight Department Fleet teams and the APA Safety team have worked diligently together to create the best fleet briefings available, and have conducted simulator sessions for each fleet, validating the operational guidance contained in each bulletin. The bulletins will require several minutes of study, so please read the bulletin for your fleet at your earliest convenience.

We are activating the IOC Command Center tomorrow evening and plan to keep the Command Center staffed to support you and the Dispatch team with any questions during the 5G network activation.

To be sure, we can safely operate in the 5G environment. Your dedication to following the guidance found in the 5G Fleet Bulletins in addition to your adherence to normal SOPs will ensure that we remain safe.

Respectfully,

CA John Dudley
FO John DeLeeuw
Managing Director Flight Operations
APA National Safety Committee Chair
 

hist78

Well-known member
If FCC (Federal Communication Commission) approved mobile network operators to use the frequency they bought and allocated, why airlines feel they entitled to use the same frequency? It's a mystery to me. Does someone understand the reason behind this strange thing?
 

count

Well-known member
If FCC (Federal Communication Commission) approved mobile network operators to use the frequency they bought and allocated, why airlines feel they entitled to use the same frequency? It's a mystery to me. Does someone understand the reason behind this strange thing?
Some critical instrumentation for altitude is apparently operates close to 5G frequencies. I think it was probably a miss, with different departments didn't think to talk to each other and didn't realize they had a problem until too late in the game. It's not that airlines feel entitled to use this frequency, it's something that has been built into their planes for decades.
 

hist78

Well-known member
Some critical instrumentation for altitude is apparently operates close to 5G frequencies. I think it was probably a miss, with different departments didn't think to talk to each other and didn't realize they had a problem until too late in the game. It's not that airlines feel entitled to use this frequency, it's something that has been built into their planes for decades.
Then there's another mystery added to this. Why those airplanes' instruments use those frequencies without license?

FCC established in 1934 and one of the mission is to manage/administrate the wireless frequency. By now in 2022 I thought airplane makers already sorted it out.
 

tooLongInEDA

Active member
This sort of story makes no sense to me. The 5G standards committees must surely check for possible interference when drawing up the standards ?

I can recall the time when we were told it was "unsafe" to leave your mobile phone on when filling up at a gas [petrol] station (I'm not aware of any actual problems there and it certainly is not a problem today). And then we were told that using mobile phones in hospitals was dangerous as these "might interfere with medical equipment". Again, no evidence was produced to support this claim. And they are (thankfully) now allowed which avoids the need (in the UK) to pay over $1/minute for the monopoly phone service provided by the hospitals (and yes, that's in the "free at the point of use" NHS).

In the UK reporting of this earlier today, it was mentioned that there was no problem with 5G at airports and it was already in use - reported as "using different frequencies and lower power". I'm not sure we can totally rely on news reporting on serious technical issues here. But perhaps someone in the US standards and regulatory system was asleep at the wheel here.

Either that or the airlines have some vested interest in preventing 5G rollout.
 

count

Well-known member
If the UK uses different frequencies, then it's obviously not going to be an issue.

It's probably true that the FAA is being overly cautious here, but if I'm getting on a plane I'd rather the FAA was cautious. But my guess is that there was a miss in coordination between the relevant agencies in the US. Given the state of US government agencies, which have been gutted over the past 5 years or so, it's believable to me that there was also a failure in due diligence.

Here is a more detailed explanation:

 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Subject: 5G Fleet Bulletins Have Been Published
Date & Time: 18Jan 17:04
5G Fleet Bulletins Have Been Published

Each Fleet Team has published a fleet bulletin Potential for 5G Interference of Radio Altimeters located in the Fleet Bulletins folder of Comply365. This bulletin contains important operational information to ensure our pilots can operate safely and with a high level of confidence in a 5G NOTAM airport environment in full compliance with Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-23-12.

You can access your fleet’s 5G Bulletin by opening Comply365, selecting your fleet, then FLEET SPECIFIC OPS, then FLEET BULLETINS, then POTENTIAL FOR 5G INTERFERENCE OF RADIO ALTIMETERS.

Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-23-12 was issued for all fleets in December 2021 and was added to all fleet AOM/OM VOL I. Specific 5G airport/runway NOTAMs activated the operating provisions and restrictions contained in the AD. The FAA has issued 5G NOTAMs effective 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. There are a significant number of 5G NOTAMs issued for airports throughout our system, to include our hub and gateway cities.

The AD restrictions, focused on low visibility SA CAT I/II, CAT II/III and RNP AR approaches, prohibit autolands and HUD to touchdown operations. It is critical for our pilots to be aware there are 5G fleet operating restrictions in addition to the AD restrictions that have been provided by the aircraft manufacturer. All fleets have been provided 5G potential system malfunctions and flight deck affects. The Boeing fleets also have takeoff and/or landing performance corrections when operating in a 5G NOTAM environment. These mandatory performance corrections must be adhered to for all operations at a 5G NOTAM airport. This example of additional mandatory guidance underscores the importance of a thorough bulletin review and comprehension.

The fleet bulletins start with a Flight Critical Information, Read Before Flight section containing operating guidance in phase of flight order to help you quickly brief yourself on the important operational provisions of the bulletin. The remaining structure contain expanded fleet operational guidance, affected systems, dispatch considerations and a Q & A section.

A Read & Acknowledge CCI will appear on your mobileCCI this afternoon alerting you to the presence of the 5G Fleet Bulletins in your Comply365.

Please remember that it is important that you are aware of the operational provisions contained in your 5G Fleet Bulletin prior to operations after 12:00 am EST, Jan. 19. (Midnight EDT Tuesday night, tonight)

Your base Chief Pilots have been briefed to help answer your questions about the operating requirements contained in the 5G Bulletins.

We have also activated the IOC Command Center to help with questions from both flight crews and dispatchers. If you have a question for the Command Center, please contact us through your dispatcher.

Your Flight Operations team, APA Safety team, and the Dispatch team are ready to support you. Call on us for help with any questions.

Respectfully,

CA John Dudley
MD Flight Operations
 

hist78

Well-known member
Subject: 5G Fleet Bulletins Have Been Published
Date & Time: 18Jan 17:04
5G Fleet Bulletins Have Been Published

Each Fleet Team has published a fleet bulletin Potential for 5G Interference of Radio Altimeters located in the Fleet Bulletins folder of Comply365. This bulletin contains important operational information to ensure our pilots can operate safely and with a high level of confidence in a 5G NOTAM airport environment in full compliance with Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-23-12.

You can access your fleet’s 5G Bulletin by opening Comply365, selecting your fleet, then FLEET SPECIFIC OPS, then FLEET BULLETINS, then POTENTIAL FOR 5G INTERFERENCE OF RADIO ALTIMETERS.

Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-23-12 was issued for all fleets in December 2021 and was added to all fleet AOM/OM VOL I. Specific 5G airport/runway NOTAMs activated the operating provisions and restrictions contained in the AD. The FAA has issued 5G NOTAMs effective 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. There are a significant number of 5G NOTAMs issued for airports throughout our system, to include our hub and gateway cities.

The AD restrictions, focused on low visibility SA CAT I/II, CAT II/III and RNP AR approaches, prohibit autolands and HUD to touchdown operations. It is critical for our pilots to be aware there are 5G fleet operating restrictions in addition to the AD restrictions that have been provided by the aircraft manufacturer. All fleets have been provided 5G potential system malfunctions and flight deck affects. The Boeing fleets also have takeoff and/or landing performance corrections when operating in a 5G NOTAM environment. These mandatory performance corrections must be adhered to for all operations at a 5G NOTAM airport. This example of additional mandatory guidance underscores the importance of a thorough bulletin review and comprehension.

The fleet bulletins start with a Flight Critical Information, Read Before Flight section containing operating guidance in phase of flight order to help you quickly brief yourself on the important operational provisions of the bulletin. The remaining structure contain expanded fleet operational guidance, affected systems, dispatch considerations and a Q & A section.

A Read & Acknowledge CCI will appear on your mobileCCI this afternoon alerting you to the presence of the 5G Fleet Bulletins in your Comply365.

Please remember that it is important that you are aware of the operational provisions contained in your 5G Fleet Bulletin prior to operations after 12:00 am EST, Jan. 19. (Midnight EDT Tuesday night, tonight)

Your base Chief Pilots have been briefed to help answer your questions about the operating requirements contained in the 5G Bulletins.

We have also activated the IOC Command Center to help with questions from both flight crews and dispatchers. If you have a question for the Command Center, please contact us through your dispatcher.

Your Flight Operations team, APA Safety team, and the Dispatch team are ready to support you. Call on us for help with any questions.

Respectfully,

CA John Dudley
MD Flight Operations
@Daniel,

You are a pilot and probably you can explain it better about how this conflict started? Why those airplanes' guidance systems are using 5G frequencies? Are those frequencies allocated or licensed to air transport industry or they assumed no one else will ever use it at all?
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
@Daniel,
You are a pilot and probably you can explain it better about how this conflict started? Why those airplanes' guidance systems are using 5G frequencies? Are those frequencies allocated or licensed to air transport industry or they assumed no one else will ever use it at all?

I don't fly jets but the radio frequency is definitely protected by the FCC. It’s only effecting one instrument, the radio altimeter, which has been in jets for 40+ years. My guess is that 5G is a close harmonic of the radio altimeter frequency (4.2-4.4GZ) that will bend the aircrafts signal making an erroneous altitude indication. This could be a problem when landing in weather. I'm not flying commercial right now anyway but I would have some concern if I was, absolutely.
 

Xebec

Active member
Another perspective:

How did AT&T and Verizon respond?​

They dismissed the concerns. The wireless industry trade group CTIA notes that about 40 countries have deployed the C-Band strand of 5G without reports of harmful interference with aviation equipment.

But AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg did offer to reduce the power of their 5G networks near airports, as France has done.

“The laws of physics are the same in the United States and France,” Stankey and Vestberg said in a letter Sunday to Buttigieg and Dickson. “If U.S. airlines are permitted to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the United States.”
 

ConnerVT

New member
The FAA has had over 2 years to address this issue, and failed to.

The frequencies that the cell carriers purchased are not the same ones used by avionics - they are just in the same band of frequencies.

The actual frequencies that will be used are separated from the avionics frequencies (Guard Band) by twice the amount typically allotted, to prevent interference. There has been a great amount of engineering and real life data supporting there is no issue.
 

tooLongInEDA

Active member
The FAA has had over 2 years to address this issue, and failed to.

The frequencies that the cell carriers purchased are not the same ones used by avionics - they are just in the same band of frequencies.

The actual frequencies that will be used are separated from the avionics frequencies (Guard Band) by twice the amount typically allotted, to prevent interference. There has been a great amount of engineering and real life data supporting there is no issue.
I will say it again. Surely this sort of risk (if there is actually a risk) can and should be addressed when the 5G specs are being developed and not "in the last 2 years" after tens of billions of dollars have been spent on the kit when it is hope that some late tweaks to the power/frequency/whatever bail you out of trouble.

Or aren't air safety systems (and medical systems) considered when these standards are developed ? I imagine they must be - but I have no expertise in this area, so happy to be enlightened.
 

ConnerVT

New member
Aviation frequencies, especially those used for aviation navigation, have traditionally had the greatest protection and enforcement from interference.

I wasn't invited to the meetings, but I would strongly believe that this subject has been in discussion within the FCC and FAA for more than 2 years. The "2 year" would be the timeline that the FAA stated they would address the issue. Which I would imagine would have been the FAA certifying which altimeters potentially may have issues and requiring updating/replacing as needed. The FAA is king when it comes to certifying parts - ask any airplane mechanic.

The FCC sold this slice of spectrum for ~$100B USD. I'm certain years of due diligence was done. And I'm sure many lawyers were involved. As much as no one loves VZ or AT&T, they deserve to be upset that they can't use what they paid for. And if I was the FAA, I would be embarrassed that I look clueless at the last minute.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
 

Rstar

New member
Wasn't the FCC at the time of this sale run by the "tear it all up" Verizon shill put in by the last guy? Their apporach to everything commercial was to pillage US assets as fast as possible.
 

Scotten Jones

Moderator
Subject: 5G Network Activation Update
Date & Time: 18Jan 12:01
5G Network Activation Update

Fellow pilots,

The 5G C-Band networks of AT&T and Verizon remain scheduled for activation at 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday morning, January 19 (11:00 PM CST Tuesday night, January 18). This message is to inform you of two important things to look for tomorrow as we upload the 5G Fleet Bulletins into your Comply365 and use the Read & Acknowledge mobileCCI notification to alert you that these bulletins are available and must be read before flying after 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday morning, January 19.
  • Read & Acknowledge Message - This will be our first operational use of the Read & Acknowledge CCI message, so please take a moment to refer to FOM 1c.7.3 if you would like more information about this message. In short, when you launch mobileCCI tomorrow afternoon, a pop-up window will open directing you to read a short message and then press the Acknowledge prompt. The message will remind you to read the 5G Fleet Bulletin in your Comply365 before operating after midnight on Wednesday morning. We anticipate sending the Read & Acknowledge message to mobile CCI around noon CST on Tuesday.

  • 5G Fleet Bulletins – These bulletins contain important guidance for conducting a flight at a 5G NOTAMed airport. These bulletins must be read before flights landing after midnight EST on January 19. The 5G Fleet Bulletins should be available for study near mid-day on Tuesday, January 18.
Your Flight Department Fleet teams and the APA Safety team have worked diligently together to create the best fleet briefings available, and have conducted simulator sessions for each fleet, validating the operational guidance contained in each bulletin. The bulletins will require several minutes of study, so please read the bulletin for your fleet at your earliest convenience.

We are activating the IOC Command Center tomorrow evening and plan to keep the Command Center staffed to support you and the Dispatch team with any questions during the 5G network activation.

To be sure, we can safely operate in the 5G environment. Your dedication to following the guidance found in the 5G Fleet Bulletins in addition to your adherence to normal SOPs will ensure that we remain safe.

Respectfully,

CA John Dudley
FO John DeLeeuw
Managing Director Flight Operations
APA National Safety Committee Chair
I don't understand this, I have a 5G hot spot and use it with a 5G connection all the time, I have three 5G capable phones as well. 5G has been "turned on" for a long time.
 

Scotten Jones

Moderator
This sort of story makes no sense to me. The 5G standards committees must surely check for possible interference when drawing up the standards ?

I can recall the time when we were told it was "unsafe" to leave your mobile phone on when filling up at a gas [petrol] station (I'm not aware of any actual problems there and it certainly is not a problem today). And then we were told that using mobile phones in hospitals was dangerous as these "might interfere with medical equipment". Again, no evidence was produced to support this claim. And they are (thankfully) now allowed which avoids the need (in the UK) to pay over $1/minute for the monopoly phone service provided by the hospitals (and yes, that's in the "free at the point of use" NHS).

In the UK reporting of this earlier today, it was mentioned that there was no problem with 5G at airports and it was already in use - reported as "using different frequencies and lower power". I'm not sure we can totally rely on news reporting on serious technical issues here. But perhaps someone in the US standards and regulatory system was asleep at the wheel here.

Either that or the airlines have some vested interest in preventing 5G rollout.
Many years ago I ran a wafer fab and we had multiple incidents of a cell phone ringing near a piece of equipment and the equipment going into pump down. It was only certain phones and our group used Nextel phones for internal communications and never had an issue. We made all visitors turn off their phones.
 
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