FAA Says 5G Wireless Could Affect Radio Altimeters in Most Boeing 737 Aircraft

by Madison Miller

It’s possible that the new 5G wireless operations could severely impact our aircrafts.

A new Federal Aviation Administration report from Wednesday states that these 5G operations could end up interfering with radio altimeters in Boeing 737s. This is a massive problem. According to Reuters, these radio interactions are what allow these planes to both safely land and fly.

This is not necessarily a new concern, either. Different telecommunications networks have been introducing these 5G systems recently, despite warnings from the FAA that certain airplane electronics are at risk. This new update rolled out in January from Verizon and AT&T.

This is going to pose an issue for Boeing 737 aircraft. However, the FAA did stress that this will pose little to no effect for our airlines. Almost all of our airports have 5G environments that have been made completely safe for aviation. So, we don’t have much to worry about in that regard.

How Many Planes Impacted by 5G?

Most commercial airports have 5G wireless buffers in place or they just don’t have any 5G operations at all. This means they are safe from this potentially deadly radio interference. Meanwhile, it’s most of the Boeing 737 aircrafts that are under this warning.

The FAA is warning of “increased flight crew workload while on approach with the flight director, autothrottle, or autopilot engaged, which could result in reduced ability of the flight crew to maintain safe flight and landing of the airplane,” the directive said.

All in all, this problem stretches to 2,400 planes currently parked in the U.S. If we’re looking at this globally, it impacts 8,300 planes around the world. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Federal Communications Commission will work together to solve this 5G-level dispute.

Issues on Airplanes

Although this 5G issue doesn’t seem like it will impact commercial airlines too much, these airlines already have the biggest issue to overcome — the passengers themselves.

Reuters reports that a total of 80 passengers are now being transferred to the FBI to possibly receive criminal prosecution. The FAA has reported a sharp increase in disputes occurring on airplanes. A lot of this had to do with the mask mandates in place on aircrafts to protect people from COVID-19.

Some people are also getting their names scribbled onto the no-fly list if they have a history of confrontation. Last year, a total of 37 passengers were up for FBI review. Now, this year, the FBI is prosecuting a record number of passengers. These individuals continue to interfere with flight crews trying to do their jobs.

NBC News reports that a man named Michael Brandon Demarre was recently arrested and charged with threatening to interfere with a flight crew. Apparently, he tried to open the emergency door of a Delta Air Lines plane. He wanted people to film him sharing his thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine.