Will 5G lead to interferences with radio altimeters?
The 5G deployment will require an increasing number of spectrum frequencies and may cause interferences with radio altimeters. While no immediate action is required, EBAA, EASA and EUROCONTROL closely monitor this potential issue.
5G will become the leading communication technology for all types of telecom applications all around the globe. While its deployment is slower in Europe in comparison to the rest of the world, Member States are setting spectrum auctions for telecom companies to propose their services. 5G will definitively boost communication capabilities for all citizens. However, radio-altimeter display and systems using radio-altimeter data, such as Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) and Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) might be subject to interferences.
The most unwanted result of interference is the lack of indication or the display of an unreliable height given by the radio altimeter. This kind of error is a hazard that can have a negative impact on flight safety, depending on the type of operations, avionics or aircraft.
EASA and EUROCONTROL jointly organised a conference to keep the aviation stakeholders aware of the technical issues and currently concludes that there is currently no evidence leading towards the existence of any unsafe condition requiring immediate action.
However, in aviation safety, the precaution principle prevails. Therefore, EASA and EUROCONTROL will closely monitor the matter and invite all stakeholders to report any operational, technical, safety occurrence they may face with their radio altimeter (or any equipment).