The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated on 27 January it had cleared around 90 per cent of the nation’s commercial aircraft fleet to operate near 5G towers using C-Band spectrum, a move welcomed by mobile operators.

In a statement, wireless industry association CTIA hailed the positive development, crediting collaboration between corporate and government officials covering the mobile and aerospace industries.

A follow up FAA statement dated 28 January explained operators had provided precise data about transmitter locations, enabling “more thorough analysis of how 5G C-Band signals interact with sensitive aircraft instruments”, enabling it to reduce the areas where “operators are deferring their antenna activations“.

An FAA representative told Mobile World Live “aircraft with altimeters that are shown to be safe and reliable in the 5G environment” are cleared for low-visibility landings.

The authority’s latest statement added the more detailed analysis means operators can “safely turn on more towers” as they deploy 5G in C-Band, though it added work with helicopter operators “and others in the aviation community” is ongoing.

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