Jio and Airtel are launching their 5G network services across India. Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi and some more are now under the coverage area. Now, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked telecom operators not to install 5G base stations near airports.
A letter was sent to a telecom service provider which asked them not to install 5G stations in the 3.3-3.6 Ghz band within an area of 2.1 kilometres from the airports. Buffer zones should immediately cover both ends of the runway and 910 metres from the centre runway line of Indian airports.
“The telecom service providers (TSPs) are advised that in the area 2,100 metres from both ends of the runway and 910 metres from the centre line of the runway of Indian Airports shall have no 5G/ IMT base stations in the 3,300-3,670 MHz,” the official letter by DoT reads.” It was added to “Ensure downward tilting of 5G base stations to an extent such that the 5G emissions do not interfere with radio altimetres.”
This decision is here after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) along with the Ministry of Civil Aviation raised concerns, especially for old vintage aircrafts, regarding the 5G band being around airports which can possibly interfere with GPS in airplanes and radio altimetres. The regulatory bodies also provided a buffer and safety sketch to telecom providers and asked them to make sure to mitigate measures while deploying C-band 5G spectrum in and around the airport.
Similar concerns have been raised internationally as well. “5G interference with the aircraft’s radio altimetre could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway.” The US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration said.