Flight Safety Foundation is concerned about the continuing confusion surrounding implementation of expanded 5G services in the United States and the disjointed approach taken to resolving potentially significant aviation safety issues.
The Foundation urges the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and wireless carriers to cooperate to definitively identify which U.S. airports are affected by the implementation of 5G in the C-Band so that accurate and timely guidance on operational restrictions is made available to aircraft operators. In addition, the Foundation calls for accelerating the process of identifying which aircraft types are approved to perform low-visibility landings at airports where C-Band 5G has been deployed.
"Safe airline operations rely on clear and unambiguous regulations so that aircraft can be safely dispatched, and crews can safely operate aircraft to their intended destinations," said Capt. Conor Nolan, chairman of the Foundation's Board of Governors. "The unclear and sometimes conflicting restrictions and notices on 5G near airports are creating confusion globally and have led to disruptions and cancellations of hundreds of flights. It is imperative to expedite mitigations and approvals, clearing as many aircraft as possible to operate without restriction at airports."
The rollout of 5G also affects more than large airports and air carriers. Restrictions on regional aircraft types affect smaller community airports that rely on regional airlines to transport millions of passengers a year. Helicopter operations for emergency medical services are also affected, limiting the transport of patients and medical staff.
"The greater the confusion and uncertainty, the greater the risk to safety," said Foundation President and CEO Dr. Hassan Shahidi. "The process of resolving or mitigating the safety risks needs to be accelerated and not allowed to drag on for months."