The new generation of commercial wireless communications (5G) and the multiplication of 5G antennas have raised concerns of interference with aircraft operations, particularly for landing at airports. While IATA recognizes the importance of making the spectrum available to support new high-speed cellphone services, maintaining current levels of safety of passengers, flight crews, and aircraft is crucial for aviation. IATA advocates for the safe co-existence of 5G and aviation to be one of governments’ highest priorities.
Protection on Civil Aviation Spectrum and Aircraft Safety Systems
Protection of civil aviation spectrum and aircraft safety systems is an IATA top priority. IATA continues engaging with governments to mitigate threats to the civil aviation spectrum, including encouraging responsible deployments of 5G. Our four strategic pillars include:
- Safe and uninterrupted airline operations- civil aviation should not be negatively impacted by any spectrum deployments.
- Cooperative coordination -government agencies should plan spectrum deployments collaboratively together with industry stakeholders.
- Protection of civil aviation spectrum resources and establishment of predictable global spectrum environment
- Robust aircraft and avionics design with clear and cost-effective migration path
- IATA's full position paper (pdf)
- Presentation: 5G impact on aviation (pdf)
- ICAO State Letter on 5G (pdf)
- ICAO HLCC 2021-WP/30 - Safety Concerns Regarding Interference to Aircraft Radio Altimeters, Oct 2021
Other External Websites
- Full 46 – Outcome of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization Air Navigation Committee Meeting, March 2022 (pdf)
- WP 16 - MIDANPIRG/19 and RASG-MID/9 Meetings - GNSS & Radio Altimeter Interferences, Feb 2022 (pdf)
- WP 62 - MIDANPIRG/19 and RASG-MID/9 Meetings - G-5 Interference to Aircraft Radio Altimeters, Feb 2022 (pdf)
- EASA Safety Information Bulletin-Operations to aerodromes located in United States with potential risk of interference from 5G ground stations, Dec 2021.
- Mandate to CEPT on technical conditions regarding the shared use of the 3.8-4.2 GHz frequency band for terrestrial wireless broadband systems providing local-area network connectivity in the Union, Dec 2021.
IATA Position on 5G C-band Frequency Allocations and Assignments
IATA and its member airlines understand the economic importance of 5G deployments. However, in line with Article 4.10 of the International Telecommunications Union Radio Regulations (pdf) and ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices, we insist that maintaining current levels of safety for civil aviation must continue to be one of governments’ highest priorities.
Practical measures that have been codified in national telecommunication regulations and successfully deployed include:
- Ensure through testing sufficient spectrum separation between 5G C-band deployments and 4.2-4.4 GHz frequency band used by existing radio altimeters
- Clearly codify and enforce the maximum power limit for 5G C-band transmission and downward tilting (electronically or mechanically) of 5G C-band antennae
- Establishment of sufficient 5G C-band prohibition and pre-cautionary zones around airports