The US Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has issued new approvals that allow an estimated 78% of the US commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports where wireless companies have deployed 5G C-band.
Earlier this month, wireless providers agreed to create buffer zones for six months around US airports where 5G transmitters were in close proximity. This is while the FAA worked to determine which altimeters would work reliably and accurately where 5G is deployed.
The FAA said that it anticipated that some altimeters would be too susceptible to 5G interference and aircraft with those altimeters would therefore be prohibited from performing low-visibility landings where 5G is deployed due to inaccurate readings. The organization is also working with manufacturers to understand how radar altimeter data is used in other flight control systems.
Pete Buttigieg, US Transportation Secretary, said, “We recognize the economic importance of expanding 5G, and we appreciate the wireless companies working with us to protect the flying public and the country’s supply chain. The complex US airspace leads the world in safety because of our high standards for aviation, and we will maintain this commitment as wireless companies deploy 5G.”
Airplane models with one of the 13 cleared altimeters include all Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, MD-10/-11; all Airbus A300, A310, A319, A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 models; and some Embraer 170 and 190 regional jets.