5G Phones May Interfere With Aircraft

5G Phones May Interfere With Aircraft

The latest generation of smartphones, 5G, can affect the aircraft altitude instruments and it is recommended to turn them off during the flight, disclosed by the French Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday.

According to a spokesman for the agency, the usage of 5G devices onboard aircraft could cause the risks of interference that could result in errors in altitude readings. The likely occurrence is due to signal interference from a close frequency source of a strength that is the same or even greater than that of altimeters, he told AFP.

This interference can lead to errors in instruments that are extremely important during landing, stated by the agency, identified by its French acronym DGAC. It sent a statement on the matter to airlines last week by emphasizing that 5G phones should either be turned off completely or set to “airplane mode" during flight.

Most countries have much awaited that mobile phones be turned off or set to airplane mode due to apprehensions that previous generations of mobile telecommunications networks can interfere with a plane’s navigation and communication equipment.

It is also a recommendation by DGAC that in cases of trouble in an aircraft’s equipment, the flight crew should immediately report to air traffic controllers who can then alert authorities at the airport.

DGAC also elaborated that it had carried out conditions for the positioning of 5G base stations aiming to limit the risks of interference during landing at French airports.

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The strength of signals from 5G base stations placed near France’s main airports has been limited, stated by DGAC. It has been conducting additional testing since November when French telecommunications operators were approved to start rolling out 5G services.