5G Rollout: No Cause for Alarm on Flight Operations – NCAA

TECHDIGEST – The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has calmed concerns over safe flight operations over the Fifth Generation (5G) mobile network rollout, saying there is no cause for alarm.

This assurance is coming against the backdrop of the recent massive cancellation of international flights to the US after the country rolled out the mobile network.

5G network, which provides a more user-friendly experience for internet users is said to conflict with aircraft.

Experts say the frequency C-band used in 5G is almost the same as the frequency used in modern aircraft and the radio altimeter installed onboard aircraft that alerts the pilot the height above the terrain when he is approaching land or taking off.

Capt. Musa Nuhu, director-general of the NCAA, said the challenge is not of concern yet to Nigeria.

He said, “For us in Nigeria, we don’t have an auto-landing authorization, our flights don’t do auto-landing. So, for now, it is of no concern to us, but we are still monitoring the situation, see the development if there are issues that might affect us, then we will take the necessary action.”

According to him, it was not true that the US had suspended the rollout of the 5G but was restricted away from airports.

Nuhu also explained that a critical component is called radio altimeter; the spectrum by which this equipment operates is close to that of the 5G.

“So, they are afraid of interference from the radio altimeter and giving aircraft erroneous indication and during aircraft approach landing when they are about 2,500ft or so above the ground. Usually, it is for flights that are put to land.”

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