French regulator Says 5G Phones May Interfere with Aircraft Altitude Instruments

The French Civil Aviation Authority warned Tuesday that the latest generation of smartphones, 5G, may interfere with aircraft altitude instruments as it recommended that they should be switched off during flight.

A spokesman for the agency told, 'The use of 5G devices on board aircraft could lead to risks of interference that could potentially result in errors in altitude readings.'

5G Network

The potential phenomenon is due to "signal interference from a close frequency source of a strength that is similar or even superior to that of altimeters."

The agency, known by its French acronym DGAC, said this interference can cause errors "in instruments that are extremely critical during landing,"

Last week, it sent a bulletin to airlines on the issue, recommending that 5G phones be fully turned off or put in "aeroplane mode" during the flight.

Due to concerns that previous generations of mobile telecommunications networks might interfere with the navigation and communication equipment of an aircraft, most countries have long required that mobile phones be turned off or placed in aircraft mode.

The DGAC also advised that, in the event of a disturbance to the facilities of the plane, the flight crew could promptly contact air traffic controllers who should then inform the airport authorities.

DGAC also noted that the conditions for the location of 5G base stations had been laid down in order to limit the chances of intrusion at French airports while landing.

The strength of 5G base station signals placed near the main airports in France has been limited, said the DGAC, which has been conducting additional tests since November, when French telecommunications operators were given the green light to start rolling out 5G services.

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