HomeNewsFAA Rejects FedEx Cargo Plane Missile Defense System Proposal

FAA Rejects FedEx Cargo Plane Missile Defense System Proposal

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Days after FedEx announced plans to outfit its Airbus A321-200 airplanes with missile defense systems, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed it will withdraw proposed conditions that would have allowed the delivery company to have the systems equipped. 

As previously reported, FedEx asked the FAA to add the defense systems on their planes. In a filing by the FAA, the system “directs infrared laser energy toward an incoming missile to interrupt the missile’s tracking of the aircraft’s heat.”

New York Post reports the FAA has determined that further internal study is necessary. The organization also revealed it is not moving forward with the proposal at this time. FedEx began talks about adding the systems nearly three years ago.

FAA Ensures Traveling Publicly is Safe As Wireless Companies Prepare For the Deployment of 5G Network

Meanwhile, the FAA has ensured that the traveling public is safe as wireless companies deploy 5G network. The organization says it is working with the aviation and wireless companies to limit 5G-relating flight delays and cancellations. 

The FAA stated last week that it will require certain planes to take extra landing precautions after network launch. It is requiring Boeing 787s to take additional precautions while landing on wet or snowy runways at airports. The organization explains that the 5G interface may actually prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode. This may cause an aircraft to have problems stopping on the runway. 

FAA says it has cleared an estimated 45% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at many of the airports where 5G C-band will be available. This deployment will occur on Wednesday (January 19th). 

“The agency 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.”

The FAA also confirms that 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 January 19th while the FAA reviewed new data. [Which details] the location and power of wireless transmitters in all 46 U.S. markets where this service will be deployed.”

The FAA is Working With Manufacturers to Understand the Use of Radar Altimeter Data in Flight Control Systems

However, even with these new approvals, flights at some airports may still have issues. The FAA is working with manufacturers to understand how to use radar altimeter data in other flight control systems.

The FAA adds that the airplane models approved include some Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, MD-10/-11; and Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330, and A350 models. The FAA expects to issue more approvals in the coming days.