ALPA DECLARED: New 5G Towers Threatens the Safety of Aviation Operations

The Airline Pilots Association, International (ALPA) has called out Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to review it’s recently made decision that threatens the safe operation of Global Positioning System (GPS), aviation communication, navigation and surveillance services.

In the petition filed against FCC for reconsideration, ALPA called commission’s Lagido Networks decision “arbitrary, irrational, and unsupported on any logical basis by the record.”

ALPA’s first vice president and national safety coordinator. Capt. Bob Fox, said:

ALPA is seriously concerned that the Commission did not fully comprehend or appreciate the safety performance levels required to ensure safe operation of GPS aviation communication, navigation and surveillance services, or the threat of adverse operational impacts from Ligado’s proposed service.”

“The tests and evidence relied upon by the Commission were inadequate to rule out failure modes that can result in serious adverse safety consequences from interference with critical GPS-dependent aviation equipment and services.”

According to ALPA, while the world was focused on how to best navigate through the COVID-19 public health crisis, the FCC took the opportunity to grant Ligado access to the public airwaves adjacent to bands traditionally reserved for satellite navigation and communication services. The decision, made without public or stakeholder input on Ligado’s most recent proposal, also failed to properly consider aviation safety standards when they granted access to the sensitive spectrum that has typically been reserved for GPS.

ALPA therefore considers that the Commission does not fulfill the required levels of safety performance that demands safe working of GPS aviation communication, navigation and surveillance services. “Ligado’s proposed idea will create adverse safety impacts for aviation operations”. Undoubtedly, GPS reliable aviation gadgets and functions play a critical role in safe operations of aviation. Whereas, the proofs and evidences provided by Commission are not sufficient enough to point out failure modes of proposed service.

Capt. Bob further said “The Commission’s decision to allow relatively powerful terrestrial transmitters to operate in and adjacent to bands traditionally reserved for satellite navigation and communication services raises important public policy concerns that should have been addressed in an open and comprehensive public proceeding with full and fair notice and opportunity for comment, rather than in this limited license application proceeding,” added Fox.

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