The Federal Aviation Administration’s fight against AT&T’s and Verizon’s new 5G deployment appears to be coming to a temporary close, with the FAA having cleared about 78 percent of US planes for landing in low-visibility conditions. Airline CEOs are striking an upbeat tone, with one saying the process of ensuring that airplane altimeters work in 5G areas is “really not that complicated.”…More approvals will presumably be announced soon, bringing the US closer to 100 percent capacity…
The FAA didn’t start its process of evaluating the actual altimeters used by airplanes after February 2020, when the Federal Communications Commission approved the use of C-Band spectrum for 5G. The FAA also didn’t start this evaluation process after the FCC auctioned off the spectrum to wireless carriers in February 2021. Instead, the FAA continued arguing that 5G deployment should be blocked long after carriers started preparing their equipment and towers to use the C-band.
Harold Feld…senior VP of consumer-advocacy group Public Knowledge, told Ars today…he finds it “increasingly difficult to understand the FAA’s rationale around any of these things, especially given the statements from the [airline] CEOs who actually own and operate this equipment that ‘yeah we’ve done tests, and yeah there’s no problem.'”
Sounds like the FAA needs to replace more than a few bureaucrats. Replace them with techs who know how to test the hardware, test the software and test the regulations.