tv Airline Industry Groups Testify on 5G Aviation Safety CSPAN February 17, 2022 6:55am-9:08am EST
much more effectively than we did before. >> trust but verify. i yield back. >> thanks. as i understand it, for this panel, that's all the members who have questions. we have other members waiting but that's for the second panel. going once, going twice. great. administrator dixon, thank you for joining us and thank you for giving us two hours of your time to some questions. the second panel will also give us some very interesting perspectives for us to explore based on some of the things you said. we will be in touch with you with further questions as well as some follow-up on how we can help out. take you very much for joining us today. >> thank you for your support and leadership. >> for the members and the panel, we are going to take a 10 minute recess. some of us haven't had the
chance to walk around so we are going to take a 10 minute recess and we will be back for the second panel. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] >> called the subcommittee back into session. now call up panel two.
i asked the witnesses to please turn their cameras on and keep them on for the duration of the panel. i want to welcome the witnesses on our second panel. i will go through the introduction of each one. the president and ceo of airlines for america. president and ceo of the aerospace industries association. airport director of eugene airport on behalf of the american association of airport executives. president of the airline pilots is. president and ceo of the regional airline association area -- association. president and ceo of the helicopter association international. president and ceo of ctia. resident and chief executive officer of roberson and associates.
with that, we start with mr. calio. you are recognized for five minutes. you may proceed. >> thank you. we appreciate the opportunity to testify. given the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, it's notable that a problem arise to be the most disruptive issue facing our industry. commercial aviation with technology like radial ultimate her's. they are essential tool to provide critical safety symptoms on airplanes. since the spring of 2018, others in the aviation industry have been raising concerns about
radial to matters in the new 5g environment. as time ran out ahead of schedule and reschedule deployment dates, i and all of our member ceos signed a letter warning of significant destruction. the restrictions that were being imposed on the the restrictions being imposed on the industry would've impacted approximately 345,000 passengers, passenger flights, 32 million passengers and 5400 cargo flights in the form of delays or cancellations. the past few months been nothing short of the apps sequence of living deadlines and impending government action, the process that led up to this operational nightmare
or potential operational nightmare should be a cautionary tale of lack of communication and coordination gone awry. it is not a partisan problem or issue but the government coordination problem needs to be rationalized going forward. as result of the decision not to address aviation safety concerns the faa did. the situation could and should have been addressed prior to this but we are encouraged by recent progress. we are in a better place thanks to the work of the white house, the faa, aviation stakeholders and telecommunications companies but telecom and aviation industries, a government process failed to provide communication, with decisional consequences down the line. we appreciate telecom's coordination effort and those who are driving solutions.
we would like to thank chairman to fazio. we are acutely focused on driving government partners to find a permanent set of solutions to allow 5gs to expand while protecting the nation from disruption. we are asking for a long-term transparent process that forces everyone to work in a collaborative manner. the current process provides a complicated web based on aircraft by aircraft, runway by runway, made on a flight by flight basis. a constant band flow of 5g towers and airline and airport operators. the context of the operations along with the impact on human factors desperately calls for a
stable approach the government can provide. there was another round of re-evaluations and mentioned by the administrator stephen dickson. we implement a more accurate risk evaluation tool and a modification process. there is no reason the mitigations implemented internationally at the onset of the process could not have been dealt with in the united states. we are not trying to manage through the existing crisis but will take years to address. in the near-term we need a sharp focus on the evaluation tool. we need a critical review of the allocation process and a long-term transparent process that includes all stakeholders. the aviation industry supports
new technology but must be done in a manner that allows aviation and 5g to coexist safely. there will be 6 g and many other spectrum utilization issues. they should be seamlessly integrated without causing seismic disruption to cortical industry segments. we have no doubt the united states will lead in aviation safety and 5g access but it needs to be done right. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, nicholas calio. mister fanning recognized for 5 minutes. >> members of the committee, thank you for your leadership on this important matter. in partnership with the faa and
other partners, aviation manufacturers and airline passenger sets the gold standard of safety worldwide. maintaining this level of safety is our mission. we have been expressing concerns about interference with key aviation safety device known as radio altimeter on deployment of the new 5g service. spectrum is the lifeblood of the industry and we support 5g rollout. it will be important to the industry and the 2 billion people who work in the industry editor in new advances for society but must assure the us's gold standard of safety, one catastrophic incident in 1 billion flight hours. we know we can do this. we introduce new technologies into society safely. we manufacture fixed wing and rotary aircraft of all size with extensive safety features
was one of the most because the radio out of, the workforce of the integrated safety system. it is simple but has the most consequential purposes. ultimate is determined altitude. they are essential to a number of aircraft functions including precision approach, landing, ground proximity and collision avoidance. general aviation aircraft and helicopters use alternative. ultimate are unique to each aircraft type and model. they are designed, tested and certified against the most rigorous safety component as part of the integrated safety system. ultimate is are important with low visibility conditions and wind shear causes decrease in airspeed due to wind flows. it can be hazardous during takeoff and landing.
atmospheric pressure with airspeed indicators and barometric ultimate is providing misleading dictations but the radio ultimate it can be trusted and they make an escape maneuver. in 2018 aviation stakeholders began calling for collaboration to address interference because of their safety functions. progress is occurring but this is not the same as declaring the problem solved. the mitigation measures are temporary and focus on our largest cities. we need to ensure all airports including in midsized communities maintain safety but rollouts continuously aviation system is incredible complex, not nearly as simple as adopting of the country's safety playbook for reasons including orientation of the tower and differing power levels. our efforts must be specific to us needs and safety requirements.
the development of new standards will take time. the proposal to retrofit filters or other solutions cannot be accomplished overnight. manufacturing and certifying new radar altimeter designs on a full basis is the ultimate goal but it will take extensive testing, certification and time. the us sets the gold standard is the safest aviation system in the world and we have high requirements to keep it that way. policy is essential to maintaining the safety but currently there is no requirement for 5g interference tolerance, incomplete understanding, no agreed-upon worst case scenario. one of the lessons learned in this case is the effects of spectrum relocation or sharing are not simple. the auction process seeks to identify boundaries that are being relocated but the effects of interference on nearby users
and requisite mitigation is in this case is not adequately addressed file regulations. there will be future generations, we need to modernize the regulatory framework. the ultimate goal is to maximize 5g while minimizing disruptions. there will be a gap between the end of the system compromise and when the ultimate solutions are identified and implemented. the process must be established to provide ongoing information sharing dialogue between government and all private-sector stakeholders in a process that helps us avoid finding ourselves in this position again as we contemplate future additions to spectrum. thank you for listening to our perspective and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for the introduction of ms. stevens i turned to the chair of the full committee, chair to fazio. >> thank you, mister chairman.
yes. thank you for the opportunity to introduce the next witness, cathryn stephens, who will offer perspective on an airport that has a lot of low visibility issues, many years ago i had to strong-arm the faa to get the system because they said we didn't have enough flights but we had more diversions and cancellations than any airport i could find. if we couldn't use it we would be back to those days of people driving down on the bus so that's not acceptable. she's a recognized leader in
the city of eugene, the largest city in my district. she was named airport director of the year by oregon airport management association, director for a a ae and chairs the diversity, equity and diversion -- inclusion committee, she's a lot for inclusion and innovation broadly across the airport community, not just my airport and she was helpful to the committee as we work through coronavirus relief and infrastructure investment and highlighting as she will threats today of the 5g issues and transition area airport. appreciate her taking time to be here. you are recognized for 5 minutes.
>> ranking member graves and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the invitation and continued leadership on issues of importance to airports in the aviation industry. testifying on behalf of of the administration of airport executives where i'm a member of the board of directors. i serve as airport director at eugene airport and i would like to express my personal appreciation to chair to fazio, my hometown congressman who has done so much for the community and the aviation industry in their distinguished career. thank you. getting it right with the continued rollout of 5g and enhanced health communication services is imperative for airports in every segment of the aviation system that is deployment continues is not jeopardize aviation safety or
limit operations in low visibility conditions. delays, diversions, flight cancellations and groping of aircraft in low visibility events which rain possible is the rollout continues, aren't just an inconvenience. . across the country and the globe quickly with significant negative impact. airports are on the front line of dealing with the following when disruptions occur but we haven't had much involvement to this point or insight as to what the path will be and that must change moving forward. at eugene airport there are noticeably flight limitations related to deployment even though eugene is not one of the initial 46 markets in which these services are being offered but we were surprised and concerned to learn of these limitations which pose significant challenges for our passengers. to give a sense of the
magnitude of the issue, the faa flight restrictions had been in place in 2021 there would have been 90 low visibility days impacting up to 40% of our flights per day. more broadly it is positive the immediate systemwide crisis we feared has been averted. we commend at&t and verizon for their voluntary actions to establish deployment buffer zones that affected airports and the faa's diligence to clear 90% of the fleet to operate in affected airports in certain low visibility situations but these fixes are limited and temporary. the buffer zones have been limited since january 19th around 80 affected airports, shifting long-term and remain in effect only because of the
communication companies. we understand the f a a will be under constant review and alteration potential. additionally there are still some regional aircraft not yet approved to fly in low visibility conditions, only a small percentage of the fleet, these aircraft provide critical air service to many small communities. the recent cancellations which are resolved at least for now illustrate the painful impact that can be felt at smaller airports when key aircraft are prohibited from operating. over the past 2 weeks airports have seen cancellations and other impacts resulting from it ability to function low visibility conditions. it is not just a local problem. they create problems throughout the system. how do we move forward?
long-term certainty for passengers and other segments of the industry. not knowing long-term what aircraft can find where and to what conditions is a serious problem for an industry that require certainty for scheduling and planning, and additional data and information sharing, transparency and aviation industry involvement. the location of 5g towers is frustrating. with better information and more active involvement, partners could be proactive rather than reactive. in closing i summarize by saying the temporary reprieve has an positive but airports have concerns about what lies ahead. we need a permanent solution
that acknowledges the benefits of 5g services while addressing the needs for the aviation system to function 24 hours a day, 325 days a year and in low visibility conditions. aaa e is ready to work with government and industry partners to address these could needs. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> the chair recognizes the chairman for 5 minutes. >> thank you sub committee members. i am joe depete, we represent 62,000 us and canadian pilots. for airline pilots safety is nonnegotiable. it is not about politics or profit. it was an affront to us when the federal communications commission licensed part of the spectrum without heating or
acknowledging our concerns about aviation safety. this shows the stovepipe approach threatens safety and is forcing pilots to conduct extensive work arounds for the foreseeable future. this is no way to run a railroad and no way to operate the world's safest air transportation system. thank you for holding this hearing. we also thank chairman to fazio and comedy members for voicing concern for aviation safety. your leadership along with transportation secretary buttigieg and faa administrator stephen dickson forced telecom companies to delay implementation until risks are addressed. as early as 2018, we took issue with the 5g deployment plans. we urge the fcc and telecom companies to share the data to
identify risks. we contacted the fcc chair and commissioners but they ignored our concerns and seated to those with $80 billion interest in a quick launch. radar ultimate is use radio waves to calculate how high the aircraft is above the terrain. pilots and onboard to 2 systems use this to navigate flights especially during approach and landing in poor conditions. we seen the effects of the new 5g service in everett, washington and out the is sharing all reports of interference. the new service in the united states held challenges. fcc authorized 5g signals here, transmit using antennas aimed at the horizon at higher power levels and closer to airports than anywhere else on the planet.
france approved 5g with antennas aimed below the horizon at one third the transmission power with runway safety areas to a half times larger than those in the united states. for pilots, this injects more complexity and more risk into already complex flight operations. we must now analyze 5g regulatory directors affect departure, arrival in alternative airports. and increased pilot workload reinforces the importance of having two qualified, trained and rested pilots on every flight deck. the us air transportation system is the world's safest. of another industry seeks to introduce risk into the system the burden should be on that industry to prove its actions won't degrade aviation safety. the launch of the new 5g service causing available crashes must be reforms of the united states can continue to
be a world stage competitor in 5g and set the standard in aviation safety. what can we do? we need action to fund and charge the faa with staying informed and included in these strategies. we need to require the fcc to share publicly the new service transmitting data which we knew or revising existing license. we need to require the fcc to collaborate with and defer to us government agencies charged with safety oversight, grant the faa authority to reject new or expanded applications that affect aviation until safety can be insured and require the faa to share information on approved alternative methods of compliance which airline pilots are the arbiters of safety, trained for life to decide when every flight is safe but the us government must do more to safeguard air transportation as 5g service expands and pilots
are dedicated to assist, thank you very much. >> thank you. now on to faye malarkey black. >> thank you, ranking members and committee members. i appreciate the opportunity to speak today. we represent regional airlines, 44% of the nation's flights connecting every corner of the country. 2 thirds of us airports served by regional airlines. calls for safeguarding safety and operational integrity. faa has issued thousands for low visibility where new 5g signals interfere with radiology letters. alternative methods of compliance are granted only if you factors show their government withstands the new interference.
this has been disastrous. airlines are uncertain when and what clearances they might get for which aircraft if any. the impact on regional airlines is pronounced, not one has been -- negotiated safeguards are insufficient for the typical regional altimeter, the faa has issued fewer of those compared to larger equipment and half the fleet remains restricted and dozens of reports, these restricted aircraft provide 130,000 monthly flights and service to 27 airports. passengers experienced disruption. one carrier displaced 1800 passengers, summit paint fields. yesterday the inbound operation to houston was delayed when they barred low visibility approaches, 1400 were displaced.
earlier, five or cancel not due to severe weather but with runways. when kerry was limited to using 23 of its states as runway conditions changed, small reductions were unprofitable and threatened viability. i urge the committee not to view these as mere pockets of pain. the list of excluded airports is 70 and growing each time a new tower turns on. consider all three new york dollars and airports are excluded now and a quarter of flights that operator on aircraft in prohibited weather. downstream consequences are bad. if 5g degrades their schedules the integrity of the network is compromised. for smaller airports fewer flights mean fewer options to recover displaced passengers and crew. the specter of avoidable economic calamity is very much
at hands. this is designed to protect from 5g hazards but we must be careful not to trade one set of risks for another. we must understand and mitigate new risks. the introduction of more than 1500 simultaneous notices is unprecedented, each complicates the workload for dispatch, pilots and atc. for each approach crews must determine if the approach to being used for that are poor, that runway, find and review the appropriate aim to determine what approach minimum before beginning the approach and significant new saturation with scores more flights circling and diverting even if mild weather roles in. we enjoy a high level of aviation safety due in part to many layers of safety procedures and tools, the radio
ultimate or enhances situational awareness. 5g interference takes away. we do not wish to alarm passengers, our members have taken every step to mitigate these risks and will not compromise safety. flights will be granted but they have been. we must find a better and more sustainable path forward. the patchwork of the unattainable -- one for cities and another for everywhere else. i want to make this abundantly clear. radar alternators on regional aircraft are faulty or defective. these alternatives are operating as they should based on current regulatory and certification standards set by the faa. regional airlines invested millions to allow safe, reliable air service, now we can't use them because they did not consider the consequences. we can't lose our sense of
urgency, the faa must determine if an aircraft can safely operate at airports. a vacant better mitigation is needed. roadmap may be found were lower 5g power and wider exclusion zones project more aircraft. faa must ensure cohesiveness, timeliness and predictably. i spent my career for travelers meaning air service, aviation safety, i think the committee for inviting me today. thank you very much. >> the chair recognizes mister james viola, recognized for 5 minutes. >> ranking member sam graves, ranking member garrett graves and members of the somebody, thank you for your leadership and holding this hearing. appreciate the opportunity to provide testimony. i've been involved in aviation
for 35 years and began in the u.s. army with the majority of my flying done as a special operations helicopter pilot. i later joined the faa where i served as director general aviation safety assurance, and now serve at helicopter association international. i have been dedicated to safety and continue development of safe aviation operations. the unique capabilities means we can accomplish missions no other aircraft can. our industry is expanding bringing onto the flight deck exciting technology such as advanced air mobility. our operations are conducted at lower altitudes and lower speeds. many flights are conducted start to finish without the use of airports. everyday critical flights serve the public good is our members to everything from air medical, law enforcement, firefighting,
heavy construction, urban air mobility and more. helicopter air ambulance operators transport 1000 critically a patients every day. the faa is carrying out its mission to make aviation safety put into place restrictions on helicopter flight operations in order to mitigate the risk of 5g interference with radio ultimate is. for helicopters it prohibits operations requiring radio ultimate is. the restriction would protect off and landing, a significant far reaching consequences. we may be unable to conduct certain missions to provide public services especially when you consider limitation supplies, 2000 -- to combat the impact of 5g indifference the faa implemented alternative method of compliance, the focus has done tremendous work but this is a band-aid approach to
a permanent problem that is constantly changing. these procedures have not been formally released, the process is being fine tuned. we believe it is critical the faa continues the same level of urgency and commitment they had to mitigate operational impacts on helicopter operations and essential services they provide to protect communities and support jobs. regret operational environment is vastly different than the airlines. the operations take place at lower altitudes and conduct their entire flights within the zones of this interference. rotorcraft utilize airports and unapproved location such as streets, parking lots or fields lose the other avenue to combat the reparation impact of 5g interference is the exemption process. the faa partially approved the petition for exemption allowing
helicopter air ambulance operators to keep flying with restrictions. this would allow them to use night vision goggles in this area of operation. 97% of the helicopters used now have 8 a i exemption. h a i and our members are not against 5g but due to our mission profile and operational parameters 5g interference is of particular concern to the vertical flight sector. we want to ensure 5g is deployed in such a way that it can safely coexist with aviation operation. the development of new radar alternators with 5g interference will take time to purchase and install this new ultimate is is of particular concern to the industry. in a short-term we are focused on working with the after a day on additional exemptions with mitigations to allow operators
to provide services to their community. in the long-term we urge congress to enact reforms to provide better spectrums. we have study the issues of equitable access to spectrum and identify several recommendations. the reason we're here is clear. misaligned policy has disadvantaged aerospace uses. it's imperative to find a solution to address the failed system that we are not in the same situation again. i thank the committee for providing the perspective and look forward to working on these important issues. i welcome any questions. >> i will turn to ms. baker, he recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for including the wireless industry in the
hearing. i'm glad to be here with aviation leaders. the keyword for me is together. i am happy to report millions of americans are benefiting from next generation 5g service was the same americans are flying across the country and across the world safely. we got here thanks to a great deal of hard work in the past few years particularly in the past few weeks. we've shown engineer to engineer there is a path forward together. as of today, 90% of commercial planes have been cleared demonstrating the successful coexistence of 5g and flights. we acquitted to clear the remaining planes and being a good partner with aviation. i very much share the view expressed by merck and airlines's ceo the we are in the right spot, technical
experts are encouraged to come information sharing has been key. the agreement between ctia, a 4 and -- drives this breakthrough. i share the confidence of scott kirby, ceo of united, who said we will get to a final resolution. like him i wish it happened earlier. the wind a few weeks, the press tried to put the future of wireless versus aviation. that was always a false choice. we can and must have safe flights and robust 5g. 40 countries around the world have shown as it can happen and it is happening now in communities across the country. we have been preparing to bring see band spectrum into service for years. a regulatory will making global study, this is been a private
partisan priority to drive our leadership and close the digital divide that extended process reinforces how proud i am of at&t, verizon and the wireless industry for being so responsive to aviation concerns. after spending billions on second license and deploy networks, they hit hard, took repeated steps to ensure we are in the position we are today, they delayed in the public interest, fully confident of our ability to coexist effectively. they first postponed their launch voluntarily for 30 days to give aviation more time to evaluate their performance and to reduce their power in the air to protect airports and heliport's all in response to aviation concerns. they agreed to two weeks of delay and adopted even more
temporary protections around airports. the carriers the day before launch agreed not to turn on cell towers in the immediate area around specific airports. the fcc called these the most comprehensive efforts in the world to safeguard aviation technology and they are. this is the type of us corporate leadership we need. temporary steps on top of the fcc's balanced rules that accommodation of years of expert review capturing the feedback of those aviation and wireless interests. this hearing is rightfully focused on protecting aviation safety was we share that objective wholeheartedly and have real-world evidence of it in the united states. i wish to close by sharing how excited i am for our 5g future. last week accenture release report that bromley deployed 5g
will help us achieve 20% of the administration's climate goals and create new broadband competition and close the digital divide in each district. 5g is worth the wait. that is why getting the 5g is so important and why getting access the next phase is so critical. the enhanced collaboration will make that a reality. this is a clear roadmap to do so. this is about global competitiveness and creating new opportunities in town small and large. we would do that while ensuring safe flights. i look forward to your questions. >> i now turn to dennis roberson.
i hope the university graduate. you are recognized. >> thank you. good afternoon ranking members graves and graves and members of the somebody, thank you for the opportunity to testify on this important topic. i'm as you heard dennis roberson, we are a technology consulting firm serving commercial customers would this represent my personal views and is not provided on behalf of any other organization. on january 19th high-speed 5g cellular service was launched by at&t and verizon based on spectrum auction wins last year. the aviation community fought this rollout initially focusing on safety of life issues and
more recently massive disruptions in airline flight schedules. with claims and counterclaims between at&t and verizon the cellular providers point to the 40 nations who have successfully deployed 5g in the so-called see band, the deviation community countered and concluded many of these countries have significant restrictions on the spectrum use that did not exist in the united states. all this has made a very confusing and contentious situation marked by lack of information on the inability of the fcc and faa to resolve the conflict in a timely manner. that's the top-level state of play but is there really a problem and going forward, what should be done to resolve the current concerns? first, the unfortunate truth is there is a problem with the design of some of the older
radar ultimate is. now to get a little technical, the ultimate is are supposed to operate in their assigned spectrum bands between 4.2 and 4.4 gigahertz. when these devices were originally designed they had very low power. since the ultimate is operate on a radar principal looking for a signal reflected from the ground receivers couldn't detect the satellite signals, this led the ultimate are designers to ignore the assigned spectrum boundaries and these receivers are sensitive to transmissions from far outside their assigned band. for decades this was not an issue but with new neighbors moving in these old ultimate is now have a potential interference problem. adding a little more technical information to the mix, at&t and verizon 5g service operates from 3.7 to 3.8 gigahertz or
400 megahertz away from the ultimate a band. to put this into perspective, the whole fm radio band is only 20 megahertz wide. because of the vast separation between the 5g cellular spectrum and the ultimate are spectrum allocation the sec determined there shouldn't be an issue. unfortunately this is not the case for old technically wide open alternators. they were once stand-alone instruments but today as you heard they are highly integrated into the aircraft's avionics. if they say the airplane is still the air when it actually landed, the operation of the reversed thrust of the reverse speed on the ground would be blocked. on an ac runway this failure could increase the landing distance by four times which for short runway airports like
washington's reagan national airport could be an enormous problem. where do we go from here? my understanding and the good news is most modern ultimate is do not have a 5g interference problem. this is determining the robustness, and which alternatives are installed on which aircraft certifying those that filter out 5g transmission. the faa has cleared 20 ultimate are models and certified 90% of the commercial fleet. those aircraft the don't have appropriate alternatives should replace them or suffer a significant reduction in weather conditions in which they are allowed to fly. given this straightforward but
critical set of steps, aircraft can be safely flown and landed in the presence of 5g technology and importantly at&t and verizon can fully deploy their high performance 5g networks. thank you for the opportunity to testify before the committee and i look forward to your questions. >> appreciate the descriptions and language we can understand on the committee, appreciate that. i will turn to the chair of the full committee for five minutes. >> thank you. back to a question for the administrator which is what happens at the end of 6 months? right now we've cleared 90% of the planes with exclusion zones and lower power in proximity to the airports. in the testimony of ctia they say they will last 6 months or
until july 5th unless credible evidence exists of reward interference that would occur. well, the brits aviation found there is a viable interference threat to radio altimeter's, france was cited by ctia, we are doing exactly like france, not exactly, they deflect their antennas down and have exclusion zones, the czech republic has exclusion zones. they are doing those things for fun but because there's a real and credible threat to aviation. so then other places, the canadians also are adopting exclusion zones around 26 airports where towers might be
deployed and other nations, japan, 5% of the power, australia 76%, we have the strongest signals and as initially deployed no protections for aviation airports, if you obsolete altimeters. there is a modem on the 787, the most modern airplane in america, there thrust reverser's might not work in the presence of 5g and i don't think they brought an old altimeter so this is real. the question i would have to the ctia, companies have come around but you are running an organization run by the lowest common denominator member and
both verizon and at&t have recognized the problems but i don't think that's reflected in your testimony. what do you think will happen after 6 months? >> we are working cooperatively and we have made a great deal of progress and cooperation continues. it is my belief the aviation industry will get comfortable with the idea that the guard bands are so significant there will not be interference in the ultimate are proceedings. we feel confident france's the outlier and most have not required any air support specific protections and the
reason we keep mentioning france is at&t and verizon adopted in temporary protections to give the f a a time to address the out to matters and they are rolling off the ultimate or restrictions as quickly as they can. >> france is permanent. i'm not aware it goes way in 6 months, czechoslovakia exclusion zones are permanent. canada exclusion zones are permanent, they don't go away in 6 months. we are talking in 6 months we don't have exclusion zones anymore and will be so much more comfortable than france, czechoslovakia, great britain and canada, it is okay but as soon as i land, switch to 5g on the airplane. i would rather know i am going to land safely. >> with due respect the chart
you are working on doesn't capture the most recent condition. 5g is deployed in france in the same band and the authorized powers higher than the fcc rules, france is one of 3 nations with specific airport specifications today and we applied that protection temporarily to help the faa process. given nationwide limits skyward in the airport protection the us provides more protection today than france does for aircraft. france is an outlier. >> czechoslovakia and many other nations that operate in a fraction of the power in the united states haven't seen fit to have exclusion zones because they are not worried about high strong signal interference. my time has expired. >> the chair recognizes representative graves of louisiana.
>> thank you, mister chairman. under the current plan telecom providers are going to be using this space in the vicinity of airports from 3.723.8, they will temporarily delay the 3.840 as a cushion in the interim period. could you talk about whether you believe the current 3-7-3-8 will cause interference with radio ultimate is? is it sufficient at this time? >> as i testified, it's a large push, unprecedented amount of spectrum that separates 3.7,
three.eight, four.two, four.four. >> you don't anticipate conflicts with radio ultimate is? >> there should not be. it's possible to create it as i testified in early days because there was no strong signal anywhere in the facilities. they were designed without filtering out also they saw anything in a very large area but with filters they are little pieces of ceramic the cost nichols and times. i personally made them in my role in motorola as chief technology officer. it is a very small thing but i understand why in the earlier
timeframe since there was no interference outside the band that the designers chose to illuminate them because there was no reason for them but now there is an these ultimate is due have a problem but new ultimate is due have the filters which is appropriate. >> which is why when i spoke earlier, to make sure appropriate technological protocols move in the direction to ensure consistency. appreciate your testimony. as we noted in opening statements you heard frustration across the panel with how we found ourselves in this situation. 5g is not going to be the end all be all regarding technology. we are moving in the direction of 60 and 7 g.
learn -- how do we prevent moving forward, these conflicts from happening again? >> we share your frustration. we follow the fcc rules in march of 2020. how this didn't get resolved before in december of 2020 i don't understand. the interagency coordinating process should have driven a resolution. i've seen that process work on spectrum issues from broadcasters to dod and fbi surveillance was i wasn't there so i can't speak to why didn't work your but we need the agency and put early unless spectrum engineers do their job. this is a technical engineer issue and we have the best
spectrum engineers in the world. now that we have a permanent head in allen davidson, a fresh look at what is working and what is not and we hope they will. >> i want to make note, an article indicating my friends over here had a meeting with the fcc. i want to urge -- there was a scheduling conflict that this should have been the priority, we acknowledge this is a bipartisan issue, the fcc, and
down the aisle, we would be happy to join them. >> i recognize myself or five minutes. mister fanning, i talked about the process moving forward, we have a rollout that will continue, the future of 5g, and i thought we could create informal technical process. not the rtc a process. before they get formalized and passed up to the process, with this type of process, helping to get ahead of these issues.
>> the groundwork is starting as we speak there's a lot of sharing of data and understanding of each other's size, we need to build on that not just to answer what happened at the 6-month point, when we saw the issue we were faced with but we don't find ourselves in the place we are now but what doctor dennis roberson talked about, making sure everybody is cognizant of all new entrants are as well. part of the process going forward, we expand the definition of stakeholders to
be more exclusive in the department of defense. we have been building out and utilizing spectrum. we are regulating spectrum using a 20th-century model. there are indicators, a lot of important work is being shared. >> i want to move on to captain joe depete. in the level of uncertainty, can you expand on added workload as a result of 5g
rollout. >> you referred to the factors involved in this. that has been through collaboration, the failure to communicate, what we've been asking a long time to collaborate with the rejected those offers. pilots are really becoming saturated by preparation for flight. you've spoken about conditions -- to push that along to improve that process. in a situation where an airline
may need to diverge to an alternative airport, the amount of work since it is changed regularly, they are specific to runways and airports, they have to know what equipment they have on airplanes, what the configuration is. that is dependent on a lot of things including how those systems are connected to other safety systems. i'm not as sanguine as others. i think the chairman articulated what will happen in 6 months. we have to continue to work this. we have a minimum of two well-trained pilots, the most highly trained pilots in the world but this is on their
shoulders, they have to sign for the airplane every day. i'm not sure telecommunications ceos have to sign and say this shouldn't be a problem is that doesn't work in aviation and all the people in this committee know that. that is why we achieve the greatest in the history of humankind the safest form of transportation. the conveyance is remarkable. i know i ran out of time but that answers your question. >> let's turn to the second round. i will recognize representative balderson for five minutes. >> thank you, sorry about that, hit the button. thanks for being here. my first question for meredith attwell baker. cpi a has been involved in
spectrum applications including instances where it was for federal use or with specialized sharing it has to be worked out between commercial use and federal institutions we can you discuss the fcc's role in radio interference matters for commercial users, whether the faa challenges the processes in this case? >> thank you for the question. i can't speak to specifics whether the faa followed this. i will say typically there is a government agency, congressionally mandated to advocate for federal government uses, the spectrum is at a premium and using spectrum efficiently is allowing us to
lead the world in many automated transportation, wireless broadcasting, you name it. i think the fcc and nti a coordinate on the federal and commercial spectrum. ..they have been able to work t multiple complex deals, such as moving broadcasters, such as relocating dod radars. i think i mentioned aws 3, a doj and fbi surveillance. when they say we haven't shared data, we are competitively sensitive in where we roll out and what and with individuals launching cell site are, so this is not something that the fcc considers. they consider that to the guard bands. theyhe consider whether the spectrum there allocating which typically is five megahertz come
here it's going to be 200, whether that causes interference. there's a complex process and congress has weighed in multiple times on how to relocate and what gets paid for frankly. that's the governments job. >> thank you very muchat for tht answer. my next question is for mr. roberson. you were on the fcc technical advisory board for the c band order. can you provide some insight on how the fcc came to the conclusion that the mitigation measures adopted in the order would be enough o to protect aviation safety? >> yes. unfortunately, a little correction. the technological advisory council specifically is precluded from weighing in on any issues that is before the fcc. the technological advisory council serves as the headlights looking out into the future. having said that, the
technological advisory council, along with many government agencies, identified that big band spectrum was crucial for 5g competitiveness and, therefore, it is something truly important for the united states for competitors with the rest of the world to have capabilities in that spectral area and, in fact, congress dictated that area be considered. as to the specific details of what were done, that's beyond my purview. but i will note that out fcc works on these kinds of issues is to secure information from all available sources, and then based on what has been input into the docket for their engineers to carefully review material and then render a decision, so that's how the process is supposed to work. >> thank you for clarifying my follow-up, and where short on
time. can you expand short on time, can you expand on ms. baker's insight on the fcc's role as the expert on radio interference matters? >> not really. i thought she provided an excellent answer. there is a process through the ntia as the agency that provides the information to the fcc's docket representing all the groups. that process, no involvement, but it has been reported there was a breakdown in that link of getting information from the faa into the fcc docket. >> mr. chairman, sorry, i almost tried. >> you were so close. it is pretty clear there was a big breakdown in ntia delivering that information to the fcc.
next up is the representative from hawaii. >> aloha, mr. chairman. my question is for the captain. you know as well as i do that safety is nonnegotiable. pilots will fly when it is safe to fly. we cannot compromise the safety of our flight crews and passengers. this process between the selling of c-band to wireless companies to the faa has forced pilots, especially regional pilots, to perform extensive maneuvers to ensure the safety of lights -- of flights. you stay in your testimony that the fcc proceeded with the spectrum action without acknowledging alpha's concerns. when did you first raise these concerns? as the arbiter of safety, how can we ensure in the future that pilot's concerns are taken more seriously?
>> thanks a lot for that question. very important one. it just so happens i have the document here. for us, it began prior to 2018, but in 2018 we made an official request to the fcc expressing our concern about this. i will gladly provide this to the committee to show what alpa has done since. we have tried to go pretty much everywhere we could go. to bring this to everyone's attention. it was ignored. it was ignored by the fcc and by the telecom industry. i think they need to understand how we created this stasis. that is a risk predictive model, where it is a one billionth
chance of something can go wrong. our pilots are the essential front-line workers who took us through covid. now we are looking at these kinds of human factors concerns, which really were unnecessary. it was an introduction of risk that was completely unnecessary. we are doing all we can. administrator dixon has been highly accessible. i speak to him probably every other day. he has been holding briefings regularly to informants all. on our aircraft itself, it is always a challenge to be able to discern how you are having an interruption. if it is an inoperative radio altimeter, we can spot that quickly. however if it is false or erroneous information, that is
where the problem comes. representing 62,000 pilots who are doing an incredible job handling this situation, an airplane never leaves the gate unless it is safe to do so. if they don't continue to share the information, the airplanes won't fly. no airplane will ever leave the gate unless the pilots understand it can be safe, because they sign for the aircraft. i hope i answered some of those questions. >> i will use the remaining minute and a half for a follow-up. this is a lot of information. amac, expiration dates. i talked earlier to administrator dixon about how the state's flagship carrier hawaiian airlines has amac's, but they will expire in 25 days.
and why this amac exception is important because if we don't have this then pilots are forced into this bracket. if they can't get into the airfield, they will have to divert into their destination. everyone else can't it in either. you have fuel issues. >> as an instructor pilot myself, i have seen the work load rise in the cockpit dramatically at times. you know as well as i do how busy it can get. imagine now to have to consider all these other possibilities, knowing the configuration of the aircraft, ensuring you have the data so the company dispatch officers will be tasked with ensuring they are feeding us good information.
if it's not accurate, up-to-date information, it could lead us down a rabbit hole we don't want to go in. it is falling on the shoulders of our pilots, but thankfully they are the most well trained in the. >> i yield back. >> the chair represent -- chair recognizes representative fitzpatrick. >> two quick questions. revisiting the altimeter issue, radio altimeters are one of the most important instruments a pilot has. any interference is unacceptable. two questions. could you tell us what warning signs or ways to tell if a radio altimeter is experiencing interference during a flight? and second regarding your opening statement about the anomalies, explain these instances and describe how common altimeter irregularities are in general.
>> great to see you again. thank you for the questions. it is -- as i indicated, it's very difficult to tell. if it's an inoperative radio altimeter, we have those on occasion although they are usually reliable. 5g introduced a new risk. if it's an operative, we can -- inoperative, we can pull that together quickly. however if it is erroneous, you don't know that is erroneous. you have to rely on other signals for these integrated systems on modern airplanes. we are talking about connections to terrain awareness, throttles. uncommanded in our throttles on a wifi airplane can create a rapid sink rate.
pilots can be ready to react and think fully they are well-trained, but it is fortunate we put them in that situation. does that answer that part of your question? what was the second part? >> explaining your opening statement, describe how common altimeter irregularities are. >> for every -- they are very reliable systems. we have more than one. it depends in terms of the configuration on the airplane and the way they are wired into the systems as to how those anomalies would be shown to the flight crews. that is where the complexities begin. throw on top of that the issues we talked about before. along with flying the airplane we are having to administer 5g situation, which is not the best.
>> thank you, captain. good to see you. i yield back my time. >> thank you, mr. fitzpatrick. i appreciate that. i went to ask, following up, ms. baker, do the telecoms of any type of shield from liability, are you held harmless if there is a liability issue that leads to an accident? >> i do not know. we take our mission so seriously we have 911 delivering -- delivery. i would say no harmful interference is what we do for living and take it very seriously. >> thank you. a mock -- amac process what we had earlier. i do have concerns about the guidelines to safely and efficiently operate under this process?
>> yes, we do. right now as i said during my oral testimony, joe just referenced the pilots, it is ever-changing and i would like to clarify one thing. 90% of aircraft has been cleared. that has a particular impact on regional characters. once every month it is something we cannot continue to live by, because we cannot do a 30 day operational planning process, so we are working together very carefully right now. our engineers are talking to engineers from telecoms, the faa and manufacturers, so that is producing good results for right now. we need to come up with a better process or long term because this cannot be kept in place where every 30 days a change is where you can fly, out fly, which run away you can fly into. >> thank you very much.
this baker, running back. the fcc deals with deconfliction across technology all over the place. this one dealing with aviation should not be the first time we have credit into this. are there administrations that have resulted in a better outcome? >> i have never seen anything like this before. i would say this is an anomaly. hopefully we have all processes in place now to make sure that we are working with the aviation industry as cooperatively as possible, that the fcc takes comments and they have spectrum experts that handle these issues all the time. >> thank you. the chair recognizes representative johnson of texas for five minutes. west -- >> thank you very much.
i would like to ask -- >> do you have a radio going on in your office? otherwise, if everyone can please mute. >> that is a meeting with me going on in the white house. >> you will need to mute whatever is going on. >> i am getting rid of it. thank you, i'm sorry. from vfw, no airfield sites from dallas to smaller cities throughout the southwest region in the state of texas, but i'm concerned about the possible effect on small routes and
smaller airports. would you be able to elaborate on that concern? >> yes, and thank you very much for that question to congresswoman. that is exactly the point. you were right to be concerned about that. these are aircraft that were perfectly find and certified up but they now need amac's to operate properly compromised. under the 40% of the fleet as a very limited amac. altogether one or both of these fleet types are restricted to 70 airports in weather. if you are in a hub you might get restricted right there. in some cases you might not have an amac as a hub. half of them [indiscernible]that
is a big problem for smaller communities. >> thank you very much. mr. kelly, i understand 5g technology has been successfully implemented throughout europe, and did amazing -- and in many asian nations. what do you think is the difference here in the united states that makes us think we have to do so much to mitigate this issue? >> thank you. in our view, there is a difference between what has been implemented overseas as to what is being implemented here. it points out that the diversions and testimony suggest we need a better long-term transparent process. they should've been worked out ahead of time. we should not be arguing about this right now.
we take a different view. we rely on the faa as our safety regulator. i would say you have got different testimony on what happens overseas said what happens here. what need -- what we need to be looking for long-term is not only white happen but how we do not let it happen again and that it happen again another was all things going forward. >> thank you very much. perhaps both of you can comment on this. the altimeter plays an important role in airline flight. what would be the cost to replace the old altimeters on average per plane? >> i do not know the answer to that at this point. what i do know, and mr. fanning can probably jump in here if you like, it is a long-term process.
even to modify a current altimeter it has to go through right certification process. the difference of culture between the faa and fcc -- our imperative is safety. you cannot compromise safety under any circumstance. that is what i said earlier in my oral testimony, this is a matter of years, not days and not weeks. is it something being looked at? yes, as to give him out, yes it is, but it is just getting underway and it is going to take time. >> thank you very much. would anyone else like to comment? >> i would just said that this issue is going to be with us for years and years. we have already talked about rolling out 60, seven g -- 6 g, 7 g. i do not have the exact cause either, but i do know airlines spend billions of dollars of seiu airports -- safety tools
into airports. we just want to make sure all of those airports can use that technology. >> thank you very much. >> if i may -- >> the gentlewoman's time is expired and we will now go to the representative from new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman. i want to thank everyone for being here today and your wonderful testimony. your organization represents the entire aviation and telecommunications industry, and it is a massive part of the united states economy. earlier today i asked the faa administrator about how new entrants to the airspace like drones will complicate spectrum management into the future. i do not believe the faa is currently equipped for the
future of aviation spectrum management. the current 5g crisis was foreseeable. the visuals have been sounding the alarm -- individuals have been sounding the alarm for nearly a year. they did not have an issue to make this authority until it was too late. we must empower at the spectrum engineering office within the faa. it must be provided greater procedural authority so that our country is able to handle spectrum challenges into the future. i direct my question to the president and ceo aerospace industries association and president and ceo of cellular telecommunications industry association. do you think the current situation shows us that the faa is not properly equipped to meet the spectrum challenge of the
future such as drone integration? do you believe the faa spectrum engineering office must be empowered with authority to better manage spectrum resources? get spectrum to market faster, injure capability and prevent conflicts like the ones we are experiencing right now? if any other witnesses concur with the sentiment feel free to make that known. thank you. >> congressman, thank you. i will start and say i think it is an issue of empowering for the faa. what i was saying earlier was all stakeholders need to think of this more broadly as we use its limited bandwidth for more complex technology, stronger signals, we need to have all stakeholders in powdered --
empowered to be part of the conversation, new process that brings us altogether together rather than thinking of spectrum in stoic type bands, to think of it in its entirety, because that is part of it the issue was here. this was an fcc control process and the faa raise concerns but was not empowered to do anything about it. they have great engineers. they cooperate with industry, so i think we have to look across all stakeholders in spectrum, certainly the faa when it comes to irrigation safety and make sure they are part of the process and anything that we do is we expand what abuse spectrum for going forward. >> thank you so much for the question, and i would say the faa is a safety regulator, and ftc and fia are regulators. i fully support them having more resources. they could use more engineering
resources whether it is the department of energy to regulate nuclear or the department of interior to you spectrum to measure the heights of rivers. everybody could use more spectrum of knowledge now that we are using spectrum for so many different things. i think we need to take another look at the consulted of -- consultative process. they should be able to advocate for the ftc. we cannot have everyone have their own special regulator of spectrum. we need to speak with one voice. i fully support the concept. i want to be clear fcc and ntia are the regulators who need to be fully informed and agencies need to be part of this process. >> i think you hit it on the head, and we need leadership. all of those voices come
together, you also need to leadership so that we are on the same page and we have the regulation that we need. we cannot have people in different spots doing different things, which is kind of what happened here. i think you made a good point and i agree with you on that. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes representative pain -- payne of new jersey for five minutes. >> let me see. aerospace companies are responding to concerns by utilizing filters on existing equipment as stopgap measures to compensate for signal interference. this would not have been necessary if there was proper communication across the federal
government and technical concerns reach appropriate parties. inevitably there will be a new technology to replace 5g. how would proper communication of technical concerns make future rollouts of new technology less chaotic? >> first and foremost, which i think all of the panelists agree with, the process starts earlier. there is something that we need to amend or modify to the process to make sure these concerns are surfaced earlier. there are different cultures, different goals, different agendas of these industries, and as a country we need them both to succeed. making sure that dialogue starts earlier, perhaps never stops because we know they are going to be future options, future technologies introduced into spectrum to make sure that all of the relevant players and
stakeholders and those affected by it are at the table and get a voice their concerns and have them acted upon earlier, because we certainly have been -- the airlines, pilots, manufacturers have been talking about this for a long time. need to make sure that there is not just dialogue but a process in place to act on those concerns from an early point, because we have amazing engineers in all of our companies, but to reach the certification standards, safety standards aviation is held to for justifiable and important reasons takes a lot of time. it is a high bar to prove something will not happen. >> thank you, sir. i am glad we are having this hearing. all are coming to the same conclusion, everybody's doing the same information from each other across the gamut. miss baker, i am grateful to
look mitigation companies and the biden administration were able to reach a deal to delay 5g employment near airports. however, these exclusion zones will expire and 5g service will be fully deployed. how will telecommunications companies work with the biden administration to ensure that a full deployment of 5g will not cause any additional safety concerns? >> thank you so much for your question. the process now, everyone is at the table. we are working with the faa to give them the information that they need. they ask for in november, got it to them in december. we are every day making progress. i feel confident we will continue to make this progress. in july when temporary restrictions -- if they do not go away before because i am hopeful the faa will feel
comfortable one of the percent that there is not interference here, that there are plenty of countries around the world such as denmark and spain and ireland using the same spectrum with the same power levels, and there is no interference. i am hopeful the faa will be comfortable enough so when they roll off these temporary restrictions and when we roll in phase two, december of 2023 we will already have the process in place to make everyone comfortable that there is no interference here. >> ok, thank you, and with that i yield back. >> thank you. i know recognize representative nehls for five minutes. >> thank you for having this hearing. i am truly glad administrator dixon testified, but i am truly
disappointed the fcc refused to be here today. both industries represented here today and to their customers, at people, have been failed by healthy government failed the auction and concerns with leaders. just yesterday on the highway subcommittee autonomous vehicle during we heard the fcc was looking into cban in the 1990's, that was 30 years ago and we do not have them on the road. it is mind-boggling that they have the foresight for that, but auction off cban for 5g without fully examining how it would impact companies involved. i definitely would like an excavation of from the fcc so we can prevent this from happening again and i am truly disappointed that the chairwoman refused to disappoint -- to testify here.
my first question is for the captain. when operating an aircraft, and how do pilots know if there was an interference problem with the radar altimeter in their aircraft? >> thank you for that question, and with regard to your fcc complaint, the committee is getting the same treatment we have gotten over the years, so i certainly can commiserate with you on that. in terms of trying to see and understand what is going on the airplane, in old airplane styles where we had systems, meaning all of the instruments were not digital, they were spread out, we could do checks and balances, make a decision on that and begin to go down a decision tree. in these new modern airplanes where systems are integrated, which takes a good deal of understanding of how they are integrated, it is difficult to discern what is actually happening in the airplane when
there was a malfunction. if it is just a malfunction, the system stopped working there are warnings that will be alerted. if it is false information, that is the tricky one, and how it affects other systems. we might see that first manifested in itself with unusual throttle activity. you would think terrain avoidance would be pretty important. imagine if we did not get the warnings that we were approaching terrain or we got them when we should not. that is really outstanding question, that is the one egg most of, and it is challenging. >> i have a couple of questions for ms. baker. given that 5g is already being delivered to the u.s. public using other spectrum bands what is the importance of rapidly launching cban's spectrum for 5g? >> thank you for asking that
question, it is important. cban is the backbone of 5g across the country. it has unique characteristics, it goes very far, it carries a lot of data. it is going to change -- i think it is the most transformative technology we have seen in decades, and that will happen for our economy, education, health, even transportation. a report came out last week that said if we deploy 5g we will be 20% on our way to achieving the administration's climate goals. it is important not to delay. if we do we are just going to harm america and your constituents. >> thank you, and my last question, a little lengthy, but volunteer measures agree it would last roughly six months
from launch yet both of anticipated the effort to reduce or limit a precautionary measures even before the six month period and spirit why is allowing full utilization of the cban spectrum for 5g, use without precautionary measures originally adopted tactical will so time critical? do you understand that? >> i did. i think it is important to take a look at the temporary restrictions. let's take the two miles. if you are in weyburn and you go to national airport, that is approximately two miles. if you are in a boston logan and you go to boston commons that is two miles, so that exclusion area is going to put large swaths of metropolitan areas and a lot of underserved areas not
being able to have 5g and is just going to enhance the digital divide and leave people behind in a we do not want to do. >> the gentleman's time has expired. representative brownlee from california for five minutes. congresswoman norton for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my first question is for president of the helicopters association. i represent the nation's capital, and as you know the president and congress are located here. in your testimony you noted increased risk of 5g interference to helicopters given that helicopter operations generally take place at much larger -- at much lower
altitudes than airline flights and good conduct their entire flight within the zones of 5g interference. the development of new radio altimeters with filters that can withstand 5g is therefore critical to helicopter safety, but the cost for operators to purchase and install these new altimeters is of significant concern. could you estimate the cost to helicopter operators to upgrade to newer, more resilient radio altimeters? and how do telecom operators plan to cover this cost? >> thank you very much, congresswoman.
i appreciate that question. helicopters are so much different from what we have been hearing today as far as when the radio altimeter kicks in. you heard a lot about that 121 the airlines where most of the fights will be without the radio altimeter. helicopters use the radio altimeter, it is because of reduced visibility. when we have good visibility really are -- radio altimeter is additional. normally, especially if you were talking about coming in to get the president was so inflamed around the d.c. area, you rd conflicting -- are deconflicting with pilots that above you. the importance of that and being able to not be affected by 5g
and the filtering, you asked about the cost, i do not have the cost for those. a lot of those aircraft are going to be on the military side too. i have not read into how much work to be doing with military aircraft to update their video altimeters -- radial altimeters. >>: the cost affect the out time -- timeline? >> the airworthiness directive, we are still having conversations with the faa to determine what that actually means for the vertical flight community, because the airworthiness directive says the altimeter is not airworthy. those are the areas where it may be un air worthy. we have no amac's yet and we are
working with the faa to get there. we are held back by regulations. a lot of times it hear me talk about regulation should not just apply to helicopters. by now the faa as told us helicopters, and that is why we specifically went in to make sure we have -- the faa says you can flight without the radio altimeter if you do additional training for all of your pilots and you have a movable searchlight. it is things like that that there trying to come up with that equivalent level of safety. until we get amac's we cannot get it cost estimate. >> i would like to ask you about the logistics. what steps are involved in that process? how long would it take to
upgrade the altimeters for the entire fleet, and how much would that cost? who bears the burden of that cause? >> thanks for that question, there was a lot in there. the first thing we need to know is the operating environment that we find ourselves in. what will be the standards based on that operating environment? what is the worst scenario for interference when 5g is fully rolled out? as commissioner diction -- as commissioner dixon said earlier we have to set the standards for that. when manufacturers start building for this to process, once the faa certified some think manufacturers can build that scale. ruling it out to the whole fleet is uncovered timeline altogether, because also as administrator dixon said these airlines are designed to fly people 435, 40 years so we can
take a long time to rotate next generation technology unless you are doing it inside of the lifespan of the aircraft. so we are talking about a lengthy process to get next iteration radio altimeters into the entire fleet. that takes a lot of variables with the cost. we do not have an answer for that right now. who pays for it is another question. also historically when spectrum is not enough -- is auctioned off, there were proceeds set aside to mitigate. it has not taken into>> it is at we need to move on. but we would appreciate a follow-up written answer to that. the chairman recognizes representative.
. >> you state all this made for a confusing and contentious situation created by a lack of information, and the failures of the fcc and faa to resolve their differences in a timely fashion while carriers have delayed their rollout and altered their plans on almost a weekly basis. i think we can all agree this is confusing and contentious, and should have been and could have been avoided had the administration had the foresight to bring folks together prior to the deadline. unfortunately, secretary buttigieg was asleep at the wheel, yet another crisis under his watch. as you pointed out, there is yet another problem but it is what can best be described as a problem that occurs in unusual circumstances and for a very limited number of aircraft. if i could ask you this, what prevented the faa, the fcc, and
both industries from coming together and addressing these cases before it became a crisis? >> i think a big part of it has been discussed already, and that is the way in which the process works. the fcc makes their decisions that they are the authorized bodies to make decisions and they make those decisions exclusively on the basis of the information that is provided to them in their docket. in this case, the information the faa had and the concerns were not communicated through the in tia -- in the ntia, so they did not have that information to act upon. that is a process that exists. in terms of other inputs, and there were a variety of those who communicated that they did provide information to the docket, the fcc is always looking for technical
information that they can act upon. and so while there were several worries that were expressed about radar altimeters and operations in general, those were not quantified in a way that the fcc could act upon them. so this is a process that needs to be improved. if i might, there is a fundamental one too that i suggested but did not fully address, and that is the fcc itself does not regulate receivers. it regulates transmitters. so as i described for the altimeter designers, they felt free to design an altimeter that looked well outside their authorized band. there is no legal prohibition for them to not do that. the view historically was that market forces -- >> and the fcc did not realize that or consider that or did not
know that? >> this has been an item that has been under discussion for more than 40 years about receiver standards and the need for some form of regulation or guideline around receivers. but it is more complex probably than time would permit. >> if i could ask you another question, you also pointed out the aviation world, airport authorities, and others have fought this rollout for the last several months, initially focusing on safety of life issues and massive disruptions in airline flight schedules. much of this i believe is primarily based on a study by rtca filed in november 2020. the question is, have you reviewed the study and do you find the study provides credible evidence that 5g will cause problems with radio altimeters? and can you explain the basis for that?
have there been instances of 5g interference anywhere in the world where 5g has been up implemented? >> i have reviewed and my team, we have reviewed the rt ca studies and find there are significant flaws in the study where assumptions were made. this is one of the things that was discussed earlier. it would be very helpful if rtca and engineers could have gotten together in a more timely way to review those studies and hash out the inconsistencies in the way the study was conducted. on the question of recorded incidents where there have been difficulties with radar altimeters, this is probably a question better asked of meredith, but to my knowledge
there is no instance in the world in which there has been a problem with radio alto matters at this point. >> thank you. >> now to representative garcia of illinois for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman larson and chairman defazio, for holding this hearing on aviation safety and the impact of 5g. thanks to all the witnesses. as many of our witnesses have alluded to today, there is currently a two mile restriction in deploying 5g among most major public airports in this country, including midway airport in chicago. let me be clear. as part of the interim orders to preserve aviation safety, including the two mile restriction of 5g deployment, there are certain trade-offs to these orders. midway airport is unusual because there are a lot of residents who live right around the airport. the airport is about one square
mile and is surrounded by working-class neighborhoods directly across the street, as this map shows. many of you might have experienced this flying into midway, where planes go pretty close over homes. it is always an exciting landing experience. this poster behind me shows the two mile radius that constituents of mine live around. they are primarily latino and black and lack access to quality broadband. in fact, my own district office, which is three miles away, just outside the circle, head very poor broadband. for these residents, cell phone service is the primary way of accessing the internet. so the potential lack of 5g in the long term combined with the fact that telecom carriers are planning to shut down their 3g networks at the end of the month, is potentially
devastating for these communities in residence around midway airport. we cannot permanently prevent these residents from using 5g. we must expeditiously find a way to fully employ 5g while keeping the same level of aviation safety that we all achieve under the faa's interim orders. for miss baker and mr. fanning, a question. i am deeply concerned about how long 5g access may be restricted in the neighborhoods adjacent to airports, especially when these are almost always working-class latino and black neighborhoods who already face significant barriers to broadband access. in your opinion, what is a long-term solution that would allow residents around airports to have 5g while maintaining the necessary level of aviation safety? and roughly, how long will it take us to get there? >> thank you so much for your
question. i think that is a really important one. i will first answer the previous question. there has been no reported interference from 5g in the areas in the almost 40 countries that have rolled out 5g. but to your point, we have agreed voluntarily and temporarily to exclusion zones around the airport, and i think you raise such an interesting and important thing. we cannot exacerbate this digital divide. what we are doing is working as cooperatively as we possibly can with the aviation industry and with the faa to clear these zones as quickly as possible, and we have agreed to do this until july 5. and at that point, we hope we will be done sooner than that. we have made tremendous progress and we really have been cooperating well, and i am proud of our industry and i am proud of your industry. it took too long to get here, but i am proud we are there. >> as you know from your testimony, telecom companies in the past have paid other
spectrum users to vacate parts of the spectrum -- or upgrade their equipment so the telecom companies can fully use that spectrum. with telecom companies be willing to pay some of the cost for airlines to upgrade their planes alter matters -- planes' altimeters so we do not have these restrictions in place? >> i actually think it is premature to go there because this hearing seems to presuppose there is interference where we don't believe there is, so we need to let the engineers do their job. as far as who pays, there have been all sorts of instances where through spectrum relocation fund or a designation from congress there has been -- congress can use the proceeds of an $80 billion option as they wish. that part is really up to the government. but i don't accept the premise that there is actually interference at this point. >> before i run out of time, if
your members are not considering a plan, are they considering any cell phone plan with compensation for residents who are paying for 5g but cannot access 5g networks? >> we are doing what we can to close the digital divide and we are encouraged that in the infrastructure bill congress has helped us do that. i think there will be longer -- low income families to help pay for their service, particularly as it becomes a competitive choice of many, especially low income. >> looking forward to that conversation. thank you and i yelled back. -- and i yield back. >> i recognize the chair of the full committee for five minutes. >> i did hear a couple of very disturbing assertions. mr. roberson said our cta was based on the worst, worst-case.
tell that to the 346 families of the people who died on the max. that was supposed to be a worst-case. very improbable. we don't run aviation that way in this nation. and i heard also, i think it was miss baker. the fcc option it, blowing off all concerns, and not putting in any restrictions, but they followed the rules. well, that was the other thing. the conclusion of our investigation that both the faa and boeing said, we followed the rules, just 346 people died. we changed the damn rules. that is a question that needs to be raised about this, about this issue, and the lack of cooperation and coordination.
there is a lot of talk about the ntia run by the fifth political hack in a row who did not forward the concerns of the faa, but they have been warned by everyone, the pilots, the airlines, by this committee, by the our cta -- by the rcta, and others. they blew it off because they were in a hurry to get it out there and they were under pressure by the telecoms to get it out there, and we don't want to have any mitigations. we have got to get some facts straight. we have fact checked again the strength of the signals in france and they say it is 1585 watts and ms. baker says it's more powerful inference at 631 watts. i guess i don't understand
watts. i thought higher wattage, more powerful. plus, they take the antennas down, and that is permanent. to say we don't need any measures, we don't think there is interference. we don't think there is interference? thank? -- think? we have to 100% to the minus nine power know. that is the risk in aviation, one in one billion. i don't think we know that yet because we have the civil aviation authority in the united kingdom saying that they pose a viable interference threat to radio altimeters. canada has just adopted exclusion zones around 26 airports. these are not insignificant countries and they are much more similar to ours than slovenia or whatever ones you are voting that fly four airplanes a day.
i am just not happy with the way -- like i said, i think the telecoms are getting it now, at least verizon and at&t. i don't think ctia is getting it. i want to make sure others get it. the rcta report, worst, worst-case. that is what we plan for. to ms. stevens, i don't think the faa has been particularly transparent with airports. could you comment on that? i was told by the administrator on thursday that eugene would be impacted and on thursday portland was on their list, then friday it wasn't, but nobody seems to understand how that all worked. >> thank you for that question. and yes, it is very true, the information has not been
free-flowing and transparent in that sense and a real challenge for airports to be able to plan and understand why we are being impacted in the way we are being impacted. eugene wasn't even supposed to be on the first rollout, then we got this note on the day of the 5g rollout and needed to try to understand very quickly why we were on the list and how we were going to be impacted. we never truly understood, we still don't know, why we are on that list. now the majority of our carriers need to be operating under amogs in low visibility operations. we still have one aircraft type that has not cleared to be able to operate at eugene. that impacts our passengers, aside from the headaches it causes for people trying to run airports, it really does impact our passengers. i was flying back to eugene on
tuesday with a layover in salt lake city and waiting at the gates for the eugene flight, and i heard two passengers talking about how two weeks prior they had taken the same flight back into eugene and then they were diverted to portland because of fog in eugene and they were not able to land. that just goes to what we have been battling all these years, congressman, which is making sure people can use their local air service. >> thank you. >> thank you. just a few follow-ups. i want to underscore a point that the chair made about the language being used. ms. baker's testimony said, you said they applied a flawed methodology and implausible scenarios. the actions of the maneuvering
characteristics augmentation system, or mcas, which overrode pilot options in the flight deck of 737 maxes was and implausible scenario, and yet it did happen. we are in the implausible scenario business. so, that is why there is such a thin safety margin in aviation. that is why we take it personally, because we take response billy for aviation safety in this subcommittee. there really are not implausible scenarios when it comes to aviation safety. i just want to underscore that point about that, using that term, because it tells me that you all don't really get what we are trying to do. i think that has changed, granted, i think that has changed, but also seems to underscore a fundamental foundational problem.
i mentioned at the beginning about very different cultures between industries, between the agencies involved. so i hope we have made that point strongly. mr. viola, on helicopters, given the fact that there are currently no amocs for helicopters, i presume helicopters are flying, but what does your future look like right now? >> thank you very much for the question. that is the problem we have. there are a lot of aircraft that are not flying right now. we are really working for >> clarification as to what are the requirements. if the aircraft is required or if the newer aircraft that has a radar altimeter on it, then
there will write the procedures are to describe when the radar was needed and if the aircraft didn't have a radar altimeter, then those can still fly. and even before our testimony here working to see what exactly, if everybody in the f.a.a. can agree to what it means for the helicopters and what does it mean for helicopters, a possible interference or does it mean you can't fly in that area at all? >> your testimony said that 55 public used heliports, is that your testimony. >> yes. >> but that number from 6500 to over 8,000 in the united states. is that right. >> yes, that's correct. >> do you have any indicate that any of these numbers were taken into any consideration by the nciaa or fcc as they looked
at these issues? >> no, we have-- >> none at all? >> we have no indication that they tried to avoid any of our known heliports. when the risk is introduced to aviation or there's methods or systems from keeping that from being introduced. i think in this case, the risk is introduced and now we're dealing with it. >> backwards. mr. fanning, is there-- if you talk to your members, is there one single radio altimeter fix or multiple fixes based on the altimeter? >> we don't know yet. the real testing started once we got the information from the telecomes and f.a.a. and the conversations with manufacturers what they're learning, which also feeds in.
and it's worth stating that a mock is not a permanent thing and doesn't give blanket coverage. they're reviewed every 30 days. there's no one fix because we still don't have a definition of the problem, but there's optimism that the more modern altimeters are going to test well, but we don't know what falls into the three buckets of an existing altimeter that's going to be fine with 5g. those that have to be retrofitted with a filter and those that just won't work in the environment. but we're gathering the data in real-time and again, that daily conversation with the f.a.a. and also with the telecoms to get that data so we can test it. >> all right, i want to thank the panel lists, this is the second panel, for your testimony and your informative answers to help us understand these issues a lot better than
we did, even for us, three years ago, two years ago, one year ago, six months ago. two months ago, and even last week. but we have been as a committee, subcommittee, trying to get up to speed on these issues as well. and been having said that, i see there's a lot more work to do so we'll have to stay very engaged on this as well. with that, i'm-- that concludes our hearing and i want to thank the witnesses again and i ask unanimous content that the hearings remain open until such time as witnesses provide any answers to questions that may be submitted in writing and i expect you all to get a few questions and ask unanimous consent for 15 days for additional comments submitted by members or the witnesses to be included m the record of today's hearing. without objection, so ordered. with that, this subcommittee stands adjourned.