Monday, January 17, 2022

FAA speeds up approvals of Boeing and Airbus aircraft

Just days ahead of the planned activation of mid-band 5G spectrum by AT&T and Verizon, the FAA cleared some Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, MD-10/-11 and Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330 and A350 models to perform low-visibility landings at many of the airports where 5G interference is possible during certain weather conditions. This covers an estimated 45 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet where 5G C-band will be deployed on Jan. 19. 

The FAA approved two radio altimeter models that are installed in a wide variety of Boeing and Airbus planes. This combination of aircraft and altimeter approval opens up runways at as many as 48 of the 88 airports most directly affected by 5G C-band interference. 

As of Jan. 5, none of the 88 airports would have been available for landing during low-visibility conditions. The wireless companies agreed to create buffer zones for six months around airports where transmitters are in close proximity. They also agreed to delay deployment until Jan. 19 while the FAA reviewed new data detailing the location and power of wireless transmitters in all 46 U.S. markets where this service will be deployed.

The FAA notes that even with these new approvals, flights at some airports may still be affected. Additional aircraft and equipment clearances are expected from the FAA in coming days.

FAA issues directives concerning altimeters and 5G

 The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued two airworthiness directives concerning the expansion of 5G and aviation:AD 2021-23-12 for all transport and commuter category airplanes equipped with a radio (also known as radar) altimeter. This AD was prompted by a determination that radio altimeters cannot be relied upon to perform their intended function if they experience interference from wireless broadband operations in the 3.7-3.98...