Press Trust of India

5G signals likely to interfere with aircraft’s radio altimeters: Govt

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New Delhi: The government on Thursday said it has not conducted any study to assess the effects of the 5G network on airline services in the country but the 5G C-band spectrum has the likelihood of interfering with the current radio altimeters installed on the aircraft.

Aviation regulator DGCA has reviewed the studies/actions undertaken by various countries during the launch of 5G on the potential interference of 5G C-band signals on radio altimeters installed on the aircraft and risk involved in air travel.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh informed the Lok Sabha that a review of such by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has shown that there is a likelihood of interference in the functioning of the planes’ radio altimeters due to 5G signals.

In a written reply, Singh said the 5G C-band spectrum has the likelihood of interfering with the current radio altimeters installed on the aircraft.

“In order to minimise the interference, manufacturers of radio altimeters are working on developing modified radio altimeters,” he said.

He also said that the world over, mitigation measures have been adopted, and similar mitigation measures have been mandated in India and accordingly, telecommunication service providers (TSPs) have been advised to take certain measures while placing 5G towers in the vicinity of airports.

The steps include establishing safety and buffer zones in the vicinity of airports, restricting power levels of C-Band 5G transmissions around the airports, and tilting 5G base stations to an extent such that the 5G emissions do not interfere with radio altimeters.

To a query on whether the government has conducted any study to assess the effects of the 5G network on airline services in the country, the minister replied in the negative.

“India is neither the state of design nor the state of manufacture of aircraft/systems/items of equipment operating in the country. Therefore, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) does not have the design details of the aircraft/ equipment and is not in a position to conduct any studies on the potential effect of 5G signals on safe aircraft operations,” Singh said.

However, he said, the DGCA has reviewed the studies/ actions undertaken by various countries during the launch of 5G on the potential interference of 5G C-band signals on radio altimeters installed on the aircraft and the risk involved in air travel.

“The above review has shown that there is a likelihood of interference in the functioning of radio altimeter installed on aircraft due to C-band 5G signals, which can affect vital aircraft systems and can lead to unsafe aircraft operations, especially during the landing phase,” he added.


Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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