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Aviation safety is not static.

Airlines, pilot associations and the government agencies like the FAA are constantly looking to improve aviation safety standards.

Much of this aviation safety upgrading involves advances in technology, which can have both both positive and negative impacts on aviation.

Take radar altimeters. Radar altimeters fly on most commercial airliners and provide essential altitude information to flight crews and onboard systems during instrument-based approaches and landings.

However, interference from 5G signals can cause lost or inaccurate radar altimeter information when it’s needed most to ensure safety, during final approach and landing, especially under low-visibility conditions. It’s believed that close to 300 airports across the U.S. are affected by 5G broadband network interference.

Consequently, the FAA sought to remedy this problem by using data gathered during extensive electromechanical interference (EMI) testing. What the agency discovered is that no all radar altimeters are the same.

One radar altimeter in particular had practically no issues with 5G interference.

The  ALA-52B by Honeywell uses bandpass radio-frequency filtering to deliver resilience to 5G interference and create the smallest protection radius available today.

The FAA defines “protection radius” as the distance between a 5G base station and an aircraft. The smaller the protection radius, the more airports an aircraft can access without landing or navigation restrictions.

Consequently, the FAA is considering operational restrictions for Airbus and Boeing aircraft no using ALA-52B radar altimeters.

Want to know more? Tonex offers Aviation Safety Training Bootcamp, a 2-day course designed to provide the participants with the working knowledge of the planning, designing and testing development of an effective system safety program. The development of major system safety concepts are examined with particular emphasis on system safety risk assessment, mitigation and accident prevention.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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