Kova1ev | Dreamstime
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner taxiing on the runway.

FAA Warns 5G May Interfere With 787 Flights

Jan. 16, 2022
A new federal safety directive instructs flight crews to take precautions at 50 U.S. airports where interference from 5G services may disrupt engine and braking system performance.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued new operating guidelines for Boeing 787 jets, requiring the jets’ flight crews to take further precautions when landing on wet or snow-covered runways at selected U.S. airports where new 5G wireless service is available. More than that, the new directive prohibits operators from dispatching or releasing 787s "to affected airports when certain braking and anti-skid functions on the airplane are inoperable."

Specifically, the directive states that interference from 5G services could prevent engine and braking systems from properly transitioning from air to ground mode when landing on certain runways, "resulting in degraded deceleration performance and longer landing distance than normal due to the effect on thrust reverser deployment, speed-brake deployment, and increased idle thrust."

The 787 Dreamliner is a twin-engine, long-range wide-body jet with carrying capacity for 210 to 330 passengers. The 787 series has been in service since 2011.

Boeing has not commented on the new FAA directive, which instructs aircraft crews "to be aware of this risk and to adopt specific safety procedures when landing on these runways."

Reportedly, the new FAA directive affects 1,010 aircraft worldwide and 137 jets operated by U.S.-based carriers.

5G service on the “C-Band” (a portion of the wireless band in the range of 3.7 to 4.2 GHz) will become available on January 19.

FAA officials said the 50 airports on its list were identified based on traffic volume, the number of low-visibility days, and geographic location. Aviation industry input was considered in the selection, too.

Latest from News

Derek Gordon | Dreamstime
Lockheed Martin
Maximilian Pogonii | Dreamstime
Pratt & Whitney
Liujunrong | Dreamstime
Dmitry Kalinovsky | Dreamstime