5G rollout and airline cancellations

As if travel wasn't challenging enough, now we have major international airlines cancelling flights due to the 5G rollout. The one that is most concerning to me is Emirates cancelling their flights out of Boston. The only others I've seen mentioned so far include Japan Airlines, ANA, and Air India. Anyone scheduled on flights offered by these carriers?


  • I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but there has to be more to this story than we are hearing.

    The system that they claim will be affected by 5G are some brands (not all) of, what is known as, a radar altimeter. Unlike barometric altimeters used on every aircraft, big and small which must be adjusted to the local barometric pressure at low altitude then to a standard mean sea level (MSL 29.92 inches of mercury) above 18,000', radar altimeters can measure and display precise, absolute altitude above the ground to a maximum of about 2,500', so are usually just used during the final stages of landing only, especially at night and in low visibility. They don't work and are not needed while the aircraft is at cruising altitude. While nice to have and required in many circumstances, a radar altimeter is not needed for all landings, but it allows the pilot to descend much lower and delay a wave-off or a go around when he does not have the runway in sight and helps automated aircraft landing systems know when to flare the aircraft, especially the big beasts. Also, the radar altimeter is directional though it does have wide beam- it sends a microwave beam straight down. Have we heard from the military? Attack tactical aircraft and bombers, rely on radar altimeters when performing low altitude, high speed flights.

    Anywho, the interference issue could have been tested and evaluated very easily in the months and years leading up to the 5G rollout with radar altimeter tests done in daylight. So, why wasn't that been done, or if done, why haven't we heard the results? What are we not being told or what am I missing? Maybe one of our commercial pilots like Sealord can illuminate us.

  • I’m not able to enlighten you much. The last airplane I flew did not do ‘autoland’ approaches and landings. We had a HUD (heads up display) which allowed us to ‘manually’ fly Cat IIIB approaches down to 50 feet on the radar altimeter … two radar altimeters required and they may not differ or the ‘system’ would command a waveoff. The HUD actually would not work without two radar altimeters that agreed with each other. From what I’ve read, the 5G is not a problem with ‘all’ radar altimeters, but it is a problem with some that use a less precise frequency control. That being said, the FAA is what we used to call a ‘graveyard’ agency. They don’t do anything until the body count is high enough. If the FAA is ‘prospectively’ this concerned, I suspect there may be a problem … ‘Houston …”.

  • The odd thing is the carriers have been working on 5G for years. A week before rollout, they figure out there's an interference issue with radio frequency altimeters?!

  • That's why I'm thinking something is rotten in Denmark

  • Not a ‘recent’ issue. The FCC, the airlines, and the FAA have been at loggerheads about this for a long time.

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