INDIANAPOLIS—An Indiana state senator is asking questions about how the expansion of 5G technology will impact airline travel in and out of Indianapolis.
Sen. JD Ford, D-Indianapolis, wrote a letter on December 8th to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“I am writing to request information on the FAA's concerns regarding the expansion of 5G technologies and the impact this technology may have on air travel,” wrote Ford.
On December 7, the FAA issued new directives warning interference from 5G wireless spectrum could result in flight diversions.
Ford is concerned about reports 5G technology may impact flight-control systems of commercial and private aircraft, such as those that fly out of Eagle Creek and the Indianapolis International Airport.
“I currently serve as an Indiana State Senator, and my district is located in close proximity to Indianapolis International Airport,” read the letter. “Indianapolis was one of the first cities in the U.S. to create a 5G network, and some of my constituents have expressed concerns about potential impacts on existing technologies. Any information you can provide on this matter is greatly appreciated.”
Senator Ford hopes the FAA can provide more insight.
"With the rollout of 5G and these towers going up in our communities, some of these aircraft are coming right over that to come into IND and Eagle Creek,” Ford told WRTV. “This is what happens when we aren't thorough, and we don't vet things, and we rush through the process. It's great to pioneer and to the first to do it. But that's why I sent the letter because we need more information with regards to what is happening."
The FAA is in communications with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the safety concerns and whether to issue warnings.
“I’m hoping the partners at the federal level can help with this,” said Ford. “If I don’t get anywhere I can involve our federal delegation and to ask them for help because I think this is information we all need to know.”
WRTV Investigates contacted the FAA for a response to Ford’s letter.
“The FAA’s safety concerns are spelled out in its Airworthiness Directives and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin. We continue to work with federal agencies and the wireless companies so 5G C-band and aviation can safely co-exist.
The directives and bulletin, and additional background, are available here: https://www.faa.gov/newsroom/faa-statement-5g [faa.gov]
The FAA will reply directly to the Senator.”