How is 5G going to be Advantageous for Aviation Industry Despite Safety Alarms?

Anusree Bhattacharya | December 28, 2021 | 163 views

The aviation industry is going through a lot of technological and operational transitions. Every day, new technologies in manufacturing, airports, passengers, security measures and more are being introduced or being implemented in the entire aviation ecosystem.

5G technology is one of the most critical technologies that is currently raising concerns. 5G technology is becoming a hot topic of discussion for governments worldwide in inferior ways. Many discussions are going on the shelf of safety of consumers. Similarly, there has been rising concern about the new 5G technology in the aviation industry.

Yes. 5G technology promises to bring some of the best opportunities for airlines. But what will be its impact on airline safety? Before we discuss the 5G rollout, let's highlight its ability to benefit the busiest industry globally.


The Ecosystem of 5G

Multiple technologies play a vital role in 5G technology in terms of coverage, such as EDGE, IoT, SD-WAN, and more. The ecosystem is rapidly expanding, even the industry of suppliers to aviation. It includes device manufacturing, network supply and maintenance, system integration, testing, and more suppliers.

IATA says with regard to the aviation industry, a projected $3.9 billion will be invested in 5G by 2026. Moreover, the projections are taking the entire industry to new altitudes. GSA also forecasts that the growth of 5G will be faster than 4G.


The Impact of 5G on the Different Aviation Sectors

The deployments and implementations of 5G can be profitable for every aviation sector if used appropriately. Speaking of the aviation sectors, the new 5G technology will transform the industry in four crucial areas. They are:
  1. Manufacturing
  2. Airports & Airlines
  3. Travel
  4. Security


Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector has massively developed partnerships with telecom players. The partnerships have led to the launch of 5G initiatives.

Nokia and Lufthansa came forward for inspection of engine parts remotely. With AR visualization and 3D technology, customers can have a visual impact on cabin interiors. 5G technology is also being implemented to trace and track systems in aircraft parts and maintain of operations using transmissions, real-time signal processing, and more.

Airports & Airlines

With 5G technology, Gogo Business Aviation is developing new designs for antennas and modems. The designs will enable the world's first in-flight connectivity (IFC) and 5G air-to-ground (ATG) networks by 2022.

“Towards the end of 2022, we will have sites built, and we will start flight testing,”

- Mike Syverson, senior vice president of engineering at Gogo

Gogo's 5G network will be limited to North America. It will be leveraging the existing 250 towers with its current 3G and 4G IFC networks. The 5G network will use spectrum in the 2.4 GHz band with the help of other booming technologies to provide the airplane-to-ground station link with higher bandwidth.


Travel

Viasat Inc. is known globally for offering broadband digital satellite communications, wireless networking services, and satellite communications products.

Delta Airlines has partnered with Viasat for its next-generation Ka-band satellite in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution. Delta intends to integrate Viasat technology into 757-200 aircraft, A321ceo, and the 737-900ER (new aircraft) to provide customers with safe and secure air travel.


Network Security

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) discloses that an average of 1,000 attacks per month occur on aviation systems. Thus, it is becoming a real threat to airport security, safety, and reputation.

SmartSky Networks LLC is a leading satellite solution. It's also a wireless data and networking services provider globally. It caters to the commercial aviation industry. It offers its innovative air-to-ground inflight Wi-Fi network with 5G technology.

In June 2021, Honeywell and SmartSky introduced their high-speed connectivity. They announced it for their business aviation operators in North America. The partnership agreement boosts seamless connectivity in the commercial aviation market.

Looking at these developments made possible by the new 5G technology in the aviation industry, how has it become one of the industry's obstacles in terms of safety?

Let's highlight the picture here.

Aviation Has Expressed a Serious Concern

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned about significant safety concerns in the 5G wireless network setup roadmap. The plan for theusage of C-Band spectrum is the prime reason. 5G network operations can interfere with the radar altimeter performance of aircraft.

"It is engaging with other agencies. So that aviation and 5G cellular technology can safely coexist."

- A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman

But with the modifications in the manufacturing processes of aircraft, the industry is encouraging manufacturers. Therefore, the manufacturers could conduct tests for 5G interference and modify aircraft designs.


5G Still Provides Hope for a More Friendly Flying Future

Aviation has a 5G rollout despite having no proof. The rollout is about interfering with safety concerns. Instead, 5G in aviation is burgeoning the importance of safety and security more efficiently. The emphasis on safety and security is now even more powerful. Pilots have been equipped with high communication tools with air control towers, especially in weather or technical challenges.

The new 5G technology is way near to providing superior in-flight bandwidth connectivity while improving operational efficiency. It is going to improve overall operational efficiency. Passengers will be able to take advantage of high-speed internet on planes. Also, business passengers can conduct their business activities while flying and saving precious time and effort.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is the new 5G technology harmful to airplanes?

According to the FAA, aviation operators should be prepared for the possibility that 5G technology could interfere with transmitters. The effects of 5G could cause certain safety malfunctions for airplanes. This could affect flight operations as well.

What are the disadvantages of 5G in aviation?

Aviation is getting benefits from 5G technology. But there is always the other side of the coin. So, the disadvantages could be as follows:
  • Obstructions in connectivity
  • High costs of technology
  • Operational hindrance
  • Unmatched frequencies


What is the market size of 5G in the aviation industry?

The overall market size of 5G in the aviation market was valued at $698.45 million in 2020. Now, it’s projected to extent $4,682.12 million by 2030.

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GroundStar is the most comprehensive software suite for enhancing aviation processes currently on the market. It fulfills all requirements of today´s companies involved in airline and airport operations and covers a wide range of solutions. They include:

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