Aviation GPS Technology – At Risk?

Satellite company named Ligado advanced its 5G wireless plan with approval from Federal Communications Commission. Ligado is considered to be old nemesis to aviation GPS signal integrity. Unlike before in 2012, FCC reversed its position and approved Ligado proposal.

Ligado is seeking permission to begin terrestrial 5G cellular and data service on frequencies it owns taht were intended for satellite use. This seems quite similar to the plan shared in 2012 and was rejected by FCC.

This plan may cause interference with GPS signals which in increasingly relied upon for air traffic separation and aircraft navigation. As present the proposal looks against the interests of both commercial and general aviation. The Department of Defense has also raised the concern as this technology can cost billions of dollars to replace GPS equipment in military aircraft.

“It seems very odd that at the same time that the FAA is increasingly relying on GPS technology for everything from ADS-B and NextGen to tracking unmanned aerial systems in the national airspace, another government agency would approve a plan that would degrade that technology and make aviation less safe,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. (Source: http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=5e04cfd6-233a-4497-b074-2befbf5d1067)

“It was a bad proposal a decade ago, and it remains so.”

On contrary, some of the country’s largest telecommunications conglomerates and some White House advisers support the plan as it is needed to fully integrate 5G technology throughout the country, including such innovations as driver less cars and smart-home technology.

More information : FCC and LIGADO