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3208 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jan 2022 at 3:12 PM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-01-18 2:32:55 PM  
How was this ever approved to begin with if the frequencies are already in use by airplane electronics?
 
2022-01-18 2:58:28 PM  

ox45tallboy: How was this ever approved to begin with if the frequencies are already in use by airplane electronics?


Because they're not. There's a 200MHz band separation.

The same 5G in the same spectrum has already been rolled out all over the rest of the world, but the FAA decided they needed to have a pissing match with the FCC over it.

In fairness to the FAA, they're supposed to be extremely risk averse, but everything I can find says that any interference is still purely hypothetical, based on radar altimeter interference specifications from a couple manufacturers that are probably too pessimistic. I hate to think of how vulnerable things are to deliberate interference if we're all depending on electronics that are actually that shiatty.

A good chunk of commercial aircraft in operation have now been cleared to do instrument landings in the areas  of concern:
https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/us-faa-oks-45-commercial-airplane-fleet-operations-after-5g-deployment-2022-01-16/
 
2022-01-18 3:04:26 PM  

JessieL: The same 5G in the same spectrum has already been rolled out all over the rest of the world


So we've got planes taking off here that will be landing in areas with 5G already deployed in the destination airport, and vice versa?

JessieL: but the FAA decided they needed to have a pissing match with the FCC over it.


What's the deal? Is this political? A struggle over which department will have authority? Someone unhappy with their Secret Santa gift at the interagency Christmas party?
 
2022-01-18 3:08:20 PM  

ox45tallboy: So we've got planes taking off here that will be landing in areas with 5G already deployed in the destination airport, and vice versa?


Yes.

ox45tallboy:What's the deal? Is this political? A struggle over which department will have authority? Someone unhappy with their Secret Santa gift at the interagency Christmas party?

I'm not sure. I'd guess somewhere between interagency rivalry and chagrin at the whole 737MAX thing.
 
2022-01-18 3:11:10 PM  

JessieL: A good chunk of commercial aircraft in operation have now been cleared to do instrument landings in the areas  of concern:


So how hard is it to grab a 737 and a skilled pilot and load it up with every instrument used on board modern airplanes, then have him do manual takeoffs and landings (visual only) while being bombarded with 5G signals to see if any of the instruments malfunction?
 
2022-01-18 3:15:23 PM  
The fact that this issue has not been resolved after nearly two years of notice is a testament to how fundamentally broken our country is.
 
2022-01-18 3:19:42 PM  

angryjd: The fact that this issue has not been resolved after nearly two years of notice is a testament to how fundamentally broken our country is.


So who was supposed to be in charge of the testing? The airlines are the ones saying this has to be delayed. Was it their responsibility? The airplane manufacturers themselves, or the companies that made the electronics for them? Was it the FAA? Or the FCC?
 
2022-01-18 3:20:29 PM  
I'm an aircraft mechanic, but not an avionics puke. I do know that old 3G phones routinely interfered with VHF comms when they were ringing anywhere near the cockpit.
 
2022-01-18 3:21:26 PM  

JessieL: The same 5G in the same spectrum has already been rolled out all over the rest of the world, but the FAA decided they needed to have a pissing match with the FCC over it.


Can't they compromise and become the FBB?
 
2022-01-18 3:26:46 PM  
I'm just enjoying the Verizon and AT&T fark yous in the article:

"As the nation's leading wireless provider, we have voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports," a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement. "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and our nation's airlines have not been able to fully resolve navigating 5G around airports, despite it being safe and fully operational in more than 40 other countries."

"At our sole discretion, we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways as we continue to work with the aviation industry and the FAA to provide further information about our 5G deployment, since they have not utilized the two years they've had to responsibly plan for this deployment," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement to USA TODAY.
 
2022-01-18 3:27:21 PM  
"They" are afraid of 5G causing vaccines as the airplanes land? /s
 
2022-01-18 3:29:08 PM  
Passive aggressive press release. I'm going to go out on a limb and say their PR person is a former divorce attorney
 
2022-01-18 3:29:57 PM  
"Incalculable"?

i.imgflip.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-18 3:30:40 PM  

JessieL: ox45tallboy: So we've got planes taking off here that will be landing in areas with 5G already deployed in the destination airport, and vice versa?

Yes.

ox45tallboy:What's the deal? Is this political? A struggle over which department will have authority? Someone unhappy with their Secret Santa gift at the interagency Christmas party?

I'm not sure. I'd guess somewhere between interagency rivalry and chagrin at the whole 737MAX thing.


I can see how the 737MAX embarrassment could have a great deal to do with it. That's based on observing human behavior, not on any experience with either agency
 
2022-01-18 3:30:55 PM  
art.penny-arcade.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-18 3:53:29 PM  

ox45tallboy: JessieL: A good chunk of commercial aircraft in operation have now been cleared to do instrument landings in the areas  of concern:

So how hard is it to grab a 737 and a skilled pilot and load it up with every instrument used on board modern airplanes, then have him do manual takeoffs and landings (visual only) while being bombarded with 5G signals to see if any of the instruments malfunction?


Well, maybe a bit for the crew...but a lot more for all the people living under the flight path.

I live underneath a lot of military aviation. If this keeps up, I'm never getting 5G.
 
2022-01-18 3:54:06 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-18 3:55:39 PM  

JessieL: A good chunk of commercial aircraft in operation have now been cleared to do instrument landings in the areas  of concern:



Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-18 4:10:49 PM  

sforce: I'm just enjoying the Verizon and AT&T fark yous in the article:

"As the nation's leading wireless provider, we have voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports," a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement. "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and our nation's airlines have not been able to fully resolve navigating 5G around airports, despite it being safe and fully operational in more than 40 other countries."

"At our sole discretion, we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways as we continue to work with the aviation industry and the FAA to provide further information about our 5G deployment, since they have not utilized the two years they've had to responsibly plan for this deployment," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement to USA TODAY.


The one time i side with At&t and Verizon on something.
 
2022-01-18 4:11:52 PM  

sforce: I'm just enjoying the Verizon and AT&T fark yous in the article:

"As the nation's leading wireless provider, we have voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports," a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement. "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and our nation's airlines have not been able to fully resolve navigating 5G around airports, despite it being safe and fully operational in more than 40 other countries."

"At our sole discretion, we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways as we continue to work with the aviation industry and the FAA to provide further information about our 5G deployment, since they have not utilized the two years they've had to responsibly plan for this deployment," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement to USA TODAY.


AT&T: Mobilizing the Shade.
 
2022-01-18 4:12:27 PM  

angryjd: The fact that this issue has not been resolved after nearly two years of notice is a testament to how fundamentally broken our country is.


No. Just shows how useless US-based air carriers have become.
 
2022-01-18 4:25:33 PM  

riffraff: I'm an aircraft mechanic, but not an avionics puke. I do know that old 3G phones routinely interfered with VHF comms when they were ringing anywhere near the cockpit.


Nonsense
 
2022-01-18 4:39:32 PM  

JessieL: ox45tallboy: How was this ever approved to begin with if the frequencies are already in use by airplane electronics?


Because they're not. There's a 200MHz band separation.

The same 5G in the same spectrum has already been rolled out all over the rest of the world, but the FAA decided they needed to have a pissing match with the FCC over it.


AIUI that's not true, the rest of the world is only using up to 3.8GHz (see https://www.everythingrf.com/community/5g-frequency-bands-in-europe for example), but the FCC auctioned off band space up to 3.98GHz. Aircraft altimeters use the 4.2-4.4GHz band, so the new US allocation nearly halves the band gap vs that in the rest of the world. That is what the FAA is worried about.
Also, the RTCA did a study (in the lab, not using actual airplanes or helicopters) indicating that the possibility of interference. From the executive summary:

"The results presented in this report reveal a major risk that 5G telecommunications systems in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band will cause harmful interference to radar altimeters on all types of civil aircraft-including commercial transport airplanes; business, regional, and general aviation airplanes; and both transport and general aviation helicopters. The results of the study performed clearly indicate that this risk is widespread and has the potential for broad impacts to aviation operations in the United States, including the possibility of catastrophic failures leading to multiple fatalities, in the absence of appropriate mitigations."

The FCC disagrees with this conclusion, but as far as I know hasn't actually run any tests of their own.
Especially after the recent 737 MAX debacle, I don't think the FAA is in the mood to take anyone's word that "it'll be fine, trust us!" And I'm inclined to agree with them.
 
2022-01-18 4:39:34 PM  
For those that are interested a little more information about the FCC/FAA 5G fight.

The summary of the above article is : "Regular readers will recognize this as another standard problem that resurfaces repeatedly in fights about expanding spectrum use. The people who manufacture equipment have incentive to make the equipment as cheap as possible consistent with safety - which they estimate based on the rules at the time they build the devices. Depending on the life cycle of the equipment, it may take awhile to clear out cheaper models that are incompatible with new uses. The question becomes how much should we hold up the advancement and deployment of new wireless technologies (for which there is generally a significant demand for a wide variety of purposes, many of them potentially life saving) to allow for the phase out or upgrade of older technology. After all, the folks using the older technology followed the rules and didn't do anything wrong. Why should they pay so the wireless industry can deploy new services and make boatloads of money? OTOH, how much do we want to hold back new technology for everyone because of some unknown number of crappy old equipment models out there? This difficult question is usually made worse when, as here, we really don't have any idea how many older models are out there and how susceptible they may or may not be to harmful interference."
 
2022-01-18 5:33:58 PM  

Kraig57: we really don't have any idea how many older models are out there and how susceptible they may or may not be to harmful interference.


Wait, doesn't every single aircraft taking off or landing anywhere in the United States require some kind of registration, including the owner's mailing address?

Is it possible to just ask people via a letter if they have any non-stock electronic navigation equipment on board? To get the word out to local airports to remind pilots about this program and why the information is necessary? This way, the FAA/FCC could have a good idea of what equipment is there that needs to be tested and what sort of program (free/discounted replacement, delay of a certain time period, in some cases a simple firmware upgrade) might be needed to get full compliance?

Every pilot I've ever known has been all about safety. I don't believe you're going to get very many people with nonstandard gear that won't take this seriously. And if they won't acknowledge their own gear, they're probably up to something shady - but I'm betting they'll still find some new gear that is compliant for their own safety.
 
2022-01-18 5:50:46 PM  

sforce: I'm just enjoying the Verizon and AT&T fark yous in the article:

"As the nation's leading wireless provider, we have voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports," a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement. "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and our nation's airlines have not been able to fully resolve navigating 5G around airports, despite it being safe and fully operational in more than 40 other countries."

"At our sole discretion, we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways as we continue to work with the aviation industry and the FAA to provide further information about our 5G deployment, since they have not utilized the two years they've had to responsibly plan for this deployment," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement to USA TODAY.


They have a good point. If dozens of other countries do it without issue, what's our problem?
 
2022-01-18 5:51:06 PM  

Ambitwistor: "Incalculable"?

[i.imgflip.com image 500x432]


They mean they're too bad at math.
 
2022-01-18 6:04:09 PM  

ox45tallboy: Kraig57: we really don't have any idea how many older models are out there and how susceptible they may or may not be to harmful interference.

Wait, doesn't every single aircraft taking off or landing anywhere in the United States require some kind of registration, including the owner's mailing address?

Is it possible to just ask people via a letter if they have any non-stock electronic navigation equipment on board? To get the word out to local airports to remind pilots about this program and why the information is necessary? This way, the FAA/FCC could have a good idea of what equipment is there that needs to be tested and what sort of program (free/discounted replacement, delay of a certain time period, in some cases a simple firmware upgrade) might be needed to get full compliance?

Every pilot I've ever known has been all about safety. I don't believe you're going to get very many people with nonstandard gear that won't take this seriously. And if they won't acknowledge their own gear, they're probably up to something shady - but I'm betting they'll still find some new gear that is compliant for their own safety.


Pilots operating their own aircraft are usually all in on safety. Owners of corporate, charter, or commercial aircraft are usually a different story. Maintenance is considered a cost center. They won't upgrade a system without a compelling reason, such as an Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA forcing them to. Upgrades of this nature can be very expensive for the manufacturer to develop, so they won't until they see the need and market for it. They can also be expensive to purchase and install.
 
2022-01-18 6:32:04 PM  

riffraff: Pilots operating their own aircraft are usually all in on safety. Owners of corporate, charter, or commercial aircraft are usually a different story. Maintenance is considered a cost center. They won't upgrade a system without a compelling reason, such as an Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA forcing them to. Upgrades of this nature can be very expensive for the manufacturer to develop, so they won't until they see the need and market for it. They can also be expensive to purchase and install.


I'm absolutely with you on this, I'm just talking about an initial survey to see what equipment is in use and what possible interference there might be. Once you know the extent of the problem, you can either decide to ban the new towers around airports or tell the corporations that need upgrades to call their Congress critters for a grant to cover the new stuff.

I'm just saying that there is no excuse for not having this information already when they've had two years to get it on only 220,000 aircraft - a large portion of which are owned by companies that will likely have the documentation at their fingertips. And a large percentage will be answering "using all stock navigation equipment" anyway.
 
2022-01-18 6:47:25 PM  

ox45tallboy: Kraig57: we really don't have any idea how many older models are out there and how susceptible they may or may not be to harmful interference.

Wait, doesn't every single aircraft taking off or landing anywhere in the United States require some kind of registration, including the owner's mailing address?

Is it possible to just ask people via a letter if they have any non-stock electronic navigation equipment on board? To get the word out to local airports to remind pilots about this program and why the information is necessary? This way, the FAA/FCC could have a good idea of what equipment is there that needs to be tested and what sort of program (free/discounted replacement, delay of a certain time period, in some cases a simple firmware upgrade) might be needed to get full compliance?

Every pilot I've ever known has been all about safety. I don't believe you're going to get very many people with nonstandard gear that won't take this seriously. And if they won't acknowledge their own gear, they're probably up to something shady - but I'm betting they'll still find some new gear that is compliant for their own safety.


From the article I linked to above:I'm inclined to be more sympathetic to CTIA and the wireless industry here for a couple of reasons. First, as we'll see, the AVSI/RTCA folks did not respond to the requests for additional data relevant to their reports (more on that below). Also, especially looking at this report over here on air helicopter ambulances from July 2020, the negative data comes from a single model of super-cheap altimeter, called "Altimeter 7" in the report. As CTIA pointed out, if the problem is that certain cheap models of altimeter might experience harmful interference, then the solution would be to upgrade the altimeters - not impose massive mitigation measures on 5G network deployments."
 
2022-01-18 6:48:45 PM  

Speaker to Lampposts: JessieL: ox45tallboy: How was this ever approved to begin with if the frequencies are already in use by airplane electronics?


Because they're not. There's a 200MHz band separation.

The same 5G in the same spectrum has already been rolled out all over the rest of the world, but the FAA decided they needed to have a pissing match with the FCC over it.

AIUI that's not true, the rest of the world is only using up to 3.8GHz (see https://www.everythingrf.com/community/5g-frequency-bands-in-europe for example), but the FCC auctioned off band space up to 3.98GHz. Aircraft altimeters use the 4.2-4.4GHz band, so the new US allocation nearly halves the band gap vs that in the rest of the world. That is what the FAA is worried about.


But Japan has assigned 5G bands right up to 4.1 GHz.
 
2022-01-18 6:55:56 PM  

ox45tallboy: riffraff: Pilots operating their own aircraft are usually all in on safety. Owners of corporate, charter, or commercial aircraft are usually a different story. Maintenance is considered a cost center. They won't upgrade a system without a compelling reason, such as an Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA forcing them to. Upgrades of this nature can be very expensive for the manufacturer to develop, so they won't until they see the need and market for it. They can also be expensive to purchase and install.

I'm absolutely with you on this, I'm just talking about an initial survey to see what equipment is in use and what possible interference there might be. Once you know the extent of the problem, you can either decide to ban the new towers around airports or tell the corporations that need upgrades to call their Congress critters for a grant to cover the new stuff.

I'm just saying that there is no excuse for not having this information already when they've had two years to get it on only 220,000 aircraft - a large portion of which are owned by companies that will likely have the documentation at their fingertips. And a large percentage will be answering "using all stock navigation equipment" anyway.


I'd like to say that everyone would volunteer that information, but they just won't do it. All major alterations and most major repairs require a form 337 to be sent in to the FAA, but for the last several years they have only scanned them in and filed them without scrutinizing them in the least. So the owners have actually reported any equipment changes, but it would take an army to look through them. Only an AD would force them to report what equipment they have. Even standard equipment can change according to serial number of the aircraft and configuration. Not an easy fix. Its up to inspectors like me to refuse to return an aircraft to service when it doesn't comply with all of the requirements including AD notes. Drives the owners nuts, especially if they are in over their heads already.
 
2022-01-18 6:56:27 PM  
Older but more detailed article about this and the FAA's asshattery here: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/11/faa-forced-delay-in-5g-rollout-despite-having-no-proof-of-harm-to-aviation/

If you get people to sympathize with AT&T and Verizon... Woo boy do you suck.
 
2022-01-18 7:01:13 PM  

Kraig57: From the article I linked to above:I'm inclined to be more sympathetic to CTIA and the wireless industry here for a couple of reasons. First, as we'll see, the AVSI/RTCA folks did not respond to the requests for additional data relevant to their reports (more on that below). Also, especially looking at this report over here on air helicopter ambulances from July 2020, the negative data comes from a single model of super-cheap altimeter, called "Altimeter 7" in the report. As CTIA pointed out, if the problem is that certain cheap models of altimeter might experience harmful interference, then the solution would be to upgrade the altimeters - not impose massive mitigation measures on 5G network deployments."


I agree. This appears to be the fault of the government not assessing the problem and implementing the necessary changes. I'm pretty sure that using tax money to replace all of those altimeters would be far cheaper than the delays we're seeing now.

So what kind of political appointees were in charge two years ago?
 
2022-01-18 7:05:37 PM  

riffraff: I'd like to say that everyone would volunteer that information, but they just won't do it. All major alterations and most major repairs require a form 337 to be sent in to the FAA, but for the last several years they have only scanned them in and filed them without scrutinizing them in the least. So the owners have actually reported any equipment changes, but it would take an army to look through them. Only an AD would force them to report what equipment they have. Even standard equipment can change according to serial number of the aircraft and configuration. Not an easy fix. Its up to inspectors like me to refuse to return an aircraft to service when it doesn't comply with all of the requirements including AD notes. Drives the owners nuts, especially if they are in over their heads already.


I think this is one situation where getting the people at the local airports involved would be helpful. They don't want crashes at their airports, and just getting a site survey that doesn't include which plane has what gear would work. Airport personnel tend to have a good relationship with their pilots, and they're more likely to respond honestly when "Bill down at the airstrip" explains that they're going to be using new frequencies and you might could get a free upgrade from the government if your stuff is old and not compatible.

The corporations on the other hand can be strong-armed.
 
2022-01-18 7:26:49 PM  

ox45tallboy: Kraig57: From the article I linked to above:I'm inclined to be more sympathetic to CTIA and the wireless industry here for a couple of reasons. First, as we'll see, the AVSI/RTCA folks did not respond to the requests for additional data relevant to their reports (more on that below). Also, especially looking at this report over here on air helicopter ambulances from July 2020, the negative data comes from a single model of super-cheap altimeter, called "Altimeter 7" in the report. As CTIA pointed out, if the problem is that certain cheap models of altimeter might experience harmful interference, then the solution would be to upgrade the altimeters - not impose massive mitigation measures on 5G network deployments."

I agree. This appears to be the fault of the government not assessing the problem and implementing the necessary changes. I'm pretty sure that using tax money to replace all of those altimeters would be far cheaper than the delays we're seeing now.

So what kind of political appointees were in charge two years ago?



Both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations invested a fair amount of White House clout in herding the cats and making the system work. Agencies don't have authority over each other, but the executive branch reports to the White House. One specific federal agency, the NTIA, is designated by statute as the official Executive Branch interface with the FCC (with a couple of exceptions, such as the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy). The Obama folks in particular invested time and effort from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (S.H.I.E.L.D.) to develop a framework (The PCAST Report). Trump, by contrast, repealed the PCAST framework and never developed any replacement. Trump blessed then-Chairman Ajit Pai's "5G Fast" plan, told Pai to win the 5G race, and then moved on. The Executive Branch agencies responded by ignoring the required federal process, trashing the FCC in the press, and trying to run proxy wars with against the Commerce Committee with competing committees in Congress (notably the Armed Services committees and the House Transportation Committee). Things got so bad that the Government Accountability Office gave testimony and issued a report which explained (politely) just how screwed up things have gotten.
 
2022-01-18 8:35:04 PM  

Kraig57: Both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations invested a fair amount of White House clout in herding the cats and making the system work. Agencies don't have authority over each other, but the executive branch reports to the White House. One specific federal agency, the NTIA, is designated by statute as the official Executive Branch interface with the FCC (with a couple of exceptions, such as the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy). The Obama folks in particular invested time and effort from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (S.H.I.E.L.D.) to develop a framework (The PCAST Report). Trump, by contrast, repealed the PCAST framework and never developed any replacement. Trump blessed then-Chairman Ajit Pai's "5G Fast" plan, told Pai to win the 5G race, and then moved on. The Executive Branch agencies responded by ignoring the required federal process, trashing the FCC in the press, and trying to run proxy wars with against the Commerce Committee with competing committees in Congress (notably the Armed Services committees and the House Transportation Committee). Things got so bad that the Government Accountability Office gave testimony and issued a report which explained (politely) just how screwed up things have gotten.


I want to pee in that guy's ridiculously oversized coffee mug.

c8.alamy.comView Full Size


But yeah, that's pretty much who I expected was behind this farkup.

Having said that, it looks like Stephen Dickson was in office when this was announced over two years ago, so a lot of this should be on him. He looks simultaneously qualified on paper and like a crony appointment.
 
2022-01-19 12:30:44 PM  

JessieL: ox45tallboy: How was this ever approved to begin with if the frequencies are already in use by airplane electronics?

Because they're not. There's a 200MHz band separation.

The same 5G in the same spectrum has already been rolled out all over the rest of the world, but the FAA decided they needed to have a pissing match with the FCC over it.

In fairness to the FAA, they're supposed to be extremely risk averse, but everything I can find says that any interference is still purely hypothetical, based on radar altimeter interference specifications from a couple manufacturers that are probably too pessimistic. I hate to think of how vulnerable things are to deliberate interference if we're all depending on electronics that are actually that shiatty.

A good chunk of commercial aircraft in operation have now been cleared to do instrument landings in the areas  of concern:
https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/us-faa-oks-45-commercial-airplane-fleet-operations-after-5g-deployment-2022-01-16/


It's not the same. Verizon and ATT 5G utilizes C band with antennas directionally pointed up, whereas T-Mobile USA uses the same technology as Europe, not C band and pointed down to the ground. This issue is specifically regarding the category of 5G utilized by two companies who stand to potentially lose market share.
 
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