WiMAX Forum Requests Rules for Airport Broadband Communications
Monday, October 15, 2018 | Comments

Representatives from the WiMAX Forum along with suppliers Siemens USA, CelPlan Technologies and Leonardo asked FCC officials to move forward with rules for the Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communications System (AeroMACS).

AeroMACS refers to a collection of high data rate wireless networks following international standards for airport surface operations to provide broadband communications between aircraft and other vehicles, as well as between fixed critical assets. The system operates in the 5 – 5.03 and 5.09 – 5.15 GHz bands.

The parties described the momentum that continues to build for AeroMACS, including recent deployments in China, Portugal and Brazil. In China, for example, three airlines are using AeroMACS in the cockpit, and Aviation Data Communications announced plans to connect 30 Chinese airports with AeroMACS by 2019.

The parties stressed that the prompt issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing AeroMACS service rules will help ensure that the AeroMACS ecosystem in the United States develops on a timeline consistent with that of other countries.

The parties also explained how AeroMACS will improve public safety at and around airports throughout the United States. Specifically, AeroMACS will support critical air traffic control messages over a secure network; enable the transmission to pilots of up-to-date information on flight plans, maps, and weather forecasts; be used by fire rescue, snow removal, and ground personnel to coordinate operations at airports; and allow airport security personnel to monitor live video feeds. In addition, AeroMACS networks could enable solutions that prevent unauthorized operation of planes and access to secure areas within an airport.

In 2017, the FCC requested comment on the WiMAX Forum petition requesting AeroMACS rules.

The latest filing is here.

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