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posted by janrinok on Thursday January 20, @06:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-all-up-in-the-air dept.

Emirates President: the 5G Snafu is the Biggest Screwup I've Witnessed in My Career

Emirates president: The 5G snafu is the biggest screwup I've witnessed in my career:

The president of Emirates tells CNN that the airline was not aware of some of the potential 5G rollout issues until yesterday morning, calling the situation "one of the most delinquent, utterly irresponsible" he has seen in his aviation career.

[...] Emirates president Tim Clark said that they were not aware of the issues until yesterday morning "to the extent that it was going to compromise the safety of operation of our aircraft and just about every other 777 operator to and from the United States and within the United States."

Transportation regulators had already been concerned that the version of 5G that was scheduled to be switched on could interfere with some airplane instruments, and many aviation industry groups shared those fears — despite reassurances from federal telecom regulators and wireless carriers.

Specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration has been worried that 5G cellular antennas near some airports — not air travelers' mobile devices — could throw off readings from some aircraft equipment designed to tell pilots how far they are from the ground. Those systems, known as radar altimeters, are used throughout a flight and are considered critical equipment. (Radar altimeters differ from standard altimeters, which rely on air pressure readings and do not use radio signals to gauge altitude.)

International Airlines Suspend Some US Flights Over 5G Uncertainty

International airlines suspend some US flights over 5G uncertainty:

Major international airlines are scrambling to modify or cancel flights to the United States amid uncertainty about potential interference between new 5G cell phone services and critical airplane technologies.

Emirates, Air India, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways all announced changes to some flights, citing the issue.

Emirates said it would suspend flights into nine US airports: Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Fort Worth, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston, Miami, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco and Seattle. It said it would continue flying into New York's John F. Kennedy airport, Los Angeles International and Washington Dulles.

"We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities to alleviate operational concerns, and we hope to resume our US services as soon as possible," Emirates said in its statement.

Air India said it would suspend service between Delhi and San Francisco, Chicago and JFK. It will also suspend a Mumbai to Newark flight. It will continue to fly into Washington Dulles.

Both ANA and Japan Airlines said they canceled some flights to the United States scheduled to use Boeing 777 aircraft, but will operate some flights using Boeing 787s instead.

Germany's Lufthansa canceled a flight between Frankfurt and Miami. It said it would swap Boeing 747-8 aircraft for 747-400s on flights from Frankfurt to Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

A spokesperson for British Airways told CNN Business that it "had to make a handful of cancellations" because a decision by telecom operators to delay activating the new 5G service at some locations didn't cover all the airports the airline serves.

Will 5G Mobile Networks in the US Really Interfere with Aircraft Altimeters?

Will 5G Mobile Networks in the US Really Interfere With Aircraft?

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised concerns that 5G telephone networks will interfere with radio altimeters fitted to some aircraft. These are crucial for making landings in poor visibility and for helicopters flying at low altitude. Nonetheless, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorised the roll-out of these networks, including the placement of phone masts near airports.

The radio spectrum is a public resource, and it is both congested and hotly contested in the US. Nothing goes to waste and industries lobby hard to secure their portion. Unfortunately, the part of the spectrum set aside for vital aircraft operations sits very close to that assigned for 5G in the US and raises the chance of interference.

There is no single part of the electromagnetic spectrum that 5G occupies. Some countries are using 600 megahertz to 900 megahertz, which isn’t dissimilar to 4G. Some are placing it between 2.3 gigahertz and 4.7 gigahertz, which boosts data speed somewhat. And others are using 24 gigahertz to 47 gigahertz, which requires more towers but offers even higher data speeds. In many cases a network will use a mix of these. In the US, the frequencies allocated for 5G are closer to those used by aircraft than those allocated by the EU.

Radio altimeters operate in the 4.2 gigahertz to 4.4 gigahertz band, and the US has set aside a portion of the spectrum right up to the lower band of that for 5G. In Europe, the comparable band ends at 4 gigahertz.

[...] Time will tell how the matter is resolved, but, in truth, both the telecoms industry and the airline industry are too profitable for a solution not to be found quickly. It is likely that existing altimeters will be rated as safe eventually, or new ones will be designed that are more robust against 5G interference.

What is your take on this?


Original Submission


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

 
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  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Snotnose on Thursday January 20, @07:54AM (17 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday January 20, @07:54AM (#1214092)

    If this is the first the guy is hearing about potential problems with 5G then he has no business running an airline.

    --
    I hate when I put something off to tomorrow, and tomorrow arrives.
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bradley13 on Thursday January 20, @08:08AM (14 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @08:08AM (#1214093) Homepage Journal

    If this is the first the guy is hearing about potential problems with 5G then he has no business running an airline.

    The problems are US-specific, and related to (a) the frequency band allocated by the US, (b) recent changes in cell-tower configuration, and (c) recent changes in cell-tower broadcast power. The rest of the world doesn't have a problem. The US does. More, the problem only affects certain aircraft, notably the Boeing 777, of which different airlines will have different numbers in service.

    Strangely, the US is not the center of the world for non-US airlines. So it is not entirely surprising that this information has just percolated up to the guy.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mhajicek on Thursday January 20, @09:10AM (6 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Thursday January 20, @09:10AM (#1214099)

      Has anyone tested if there's actually a problem, or is this all pontification?

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by PiMuNu on Thursday January 20, @09:15AM (3 children)

        by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @09:15AM (#1214101)

        > Has anyone tested if there's actually a problem

        Yes:

        https://www.rtca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/SC-239-5G-Interference-Assessment-Report_274-20-PMC-2073_accepted_changes.pdf [rtca.org]

        There are some modelling assumptions in their analysis, which I have not checked or studied (I am not an RF expert).

        • (Score: 2) by drussell on Thursday January 20, @02:54PM

          by drussell (2678) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @02:54PM (#1214161) Journal

          Ah, good... Came here to post that link, but you beat me to it. :)

          +1

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, @12:56AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, @12:56AM (#1214411)

          Modelling the effects of 5g is like holding in a shit in a rainstorm.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, @09:10AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, @09:10AM (#1214472)

            How insightful

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Thursday January 20, @10:38AM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @10:38AM (#1214118) Journal

        As I understand it, the US could have spent some money by asking non-US aircraft to take part in a trial - but they didn't want to do that. So non-US airlines cancelling flights is probably the best way to focus US minds to find out the true extent of the problem, and to tell everyone why has it left it so late to decide that they cannot assure foreign operators (even flying US manufactured aircraft!) of aircraft safety? This is purely a US problem - they sold the frequency bands and even extended them more that was perhaps wise in order to make lots of money. The 5G manufactures have designed and built their equipment to use the frequency bands that they paid for. Try telling the rest of the world that they have to pay now to modify their aircraft which work perfectly well everywhere else but in the US.

        --
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      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday January 20, @05:29PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday January 20, @05:29PM (#1214233) Homepage Journal

        Instead of asking soylents, why didn't you google it and make an informative comment like the guy who answered your question did? Doesn't your computer have a Google? Hell, even a Bing might have worked.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @02:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @02:31PM (#1214155)
      Maybe they should have outsourced everything to China... ;)
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 20, @03:29PM (5 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @03:29PM (#1214182) Journal

      Strangely, the US is not the center of the world for non-US airlines.

      The other 96 % of the world's population agrees that the US is not the center of the world.

      the following for idiot ACs who would post [citation needed]


      Google for World population.
      Google for US population.
      Do a sophisticated mathematical operation called Division. Insult Consult a 5th grade math textbook if you have tribble with this.
      --
      I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
      • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Thursday January 20, @09:27PM

        by Dr Spin (5239) on Thursday January 20, @09:27PM (#1214351)

        The other 96 % of the world's population agrees that the US is not the center of the world.

        Based on the information provided in the story and its comments, some of us are not even sure the USA is on the same planet!

        --
        Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @09:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @09:40PM (#1214357)

        You need to check your math curricula again. Children in the U.S. learn division in 3rd grade now.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @10:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @10:09PM (#1214365)

        Do a sophisticated mathematical operation called Division. Insult Consult a 5th grade math textbook if you have tribble with this.

        I fail to see how tribbles would be associated with division. They seem to be more associated with the mathematical operation of multiplication.

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Saturday January 22, @10:06AM (1 child)

        by driverless (4770) on Saturday January 22, @10:06AM (#1214750)

        The other 96 % of the world's population agrees that the US is not the center of the world.

        Does the US know that?

        • (Score: 2) by drussell on Sunday January 23, @07:46AM

          by drussell (2678) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 23, @07:46AM (#1214938) Journal

          The other 96 % of the world's population agrees that the US is not the center of the world.

          Does the US know that?

          No.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zocalo on Thursday January 20, @01:29PM

    by zocalo (302) on Thursday January 20, @01:29PM (#1214138)
    I'd agree, but then there's this bit: "the airline was not aware of some of the potential 5G rollout issues until yesterday".

    It's essentially a US problem, and the FAA has been getting quite a bit of flack over their poor communications in general and justifications of why this is an actual issue and not just a potential concern. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they haven't taken the time to inform every foreign international airline in the world about all the details, even one as large as Emirates, given they seemingly haven't even provided that information to the US telcos. I think it fairly safe to say that Emirates were aware that there was an issue though because I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have taken the drastic step of changing flight schedules on the spur of the moment, no matter how abundant their caution.
    --
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 2) by Lester on Sunday January 23, @06:23PM

    by Lester (6231) on Sunday January 23, @06:23PM (#1215054) Journal

    https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=47244&page=1&cid=1214101#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]
    This coment has a link to a report written in October 2020, that has a short history of the case that started in March 2020