January 7, 2022

Statement: 5G and Aviation in the UK

airport, airline, 5G

Following the decision by some US mobile operators to delay the rollout of 5G around airports in the United States due to concerns that new frequency bands used for 5G could risk interference with cockpit monitoring devices, Mobile UK has provided the following statement:

The Civil Aviation Authority has said there have been no reported incidents of aircraft systems (including radio altimeters, which measure the height of an aircraft above the ground) being affected by 5G transmissions in UK airspace.

The CAA is working with Ofcom, the UK's telecoms regulatory, the Ministry of Defence, and UK Mobile Network operators to ensure 5G signals do not cause problems in UK airspace.

Ofcom has further explained that:

  • 5G deployments and other services in the bands near to radio altimeters have been used in the UK for many years and Ofcom is not aware of any cases of interference.  
  • Similarly, many other countries around the world are already using these frequencies for 5G and other wireless services, with no reported incidents of interference to aviation equipment that Ofcom is aware.

Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, said:

"The UK's mobile network operators follow all health and safety guidelines and engage with a variety of industries on interference. Mobile operators are actively coordinating with the aviation authorities to ensure no interference in the UK."

A spokesperson for the CAA said:  

"We are aware of reports that suggest that the frequency band being used for 5G in a number of countries could potentially pose a risk of interference with aircraft radio altimeters.

"There have been no reported incidents of aircraft systems being affected by 5G transmissions in UK airspace, but we are nonetheless working with Ofcom and the Ministry of Defence to make sure that the deployment of 5G in the UK does not cause any technical problems for aircraft."

A spokesperson for Ofcom said:  

“We can't comment on how airwaves are allocated byauthorities in other countries. But in the UK, 5G and other mobile serviceshave been used in airwaves alongside altimeters for some years with no reportedcases of interference in UK airspace."


About Building Mobile Britain

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Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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