FAA, Boeing squabble over cockpit screens and WiFi

When you fly, the flight attendants always tell you to put your digital self into airplane mode. Some of those flights offer WiFi, with a smaller percentage offering gate-to-gate connectivity, even during takeoff or landing. Now the FAA is ordering planes with components that could suffer from WiFi signals have them replaced.

About 1,300 Boeing aircraft are affected, and have cockpit displays that could go blank with WiFi interference. These screens display important info like altitude and airspeed, along with other important in-flight details.

The FAA says the issues can occur during takeoff and landing, which are the most crucial times for pilots to have access to that info. Even worse, the screens don't meet current FAA guidelines for tolerance to WiFi signals.

It sounds daunting, but the FAA isn't rushing a fix. Airlines with the offending planes have up to five years to replace the screens. It seems the issue has been known since 2012, too, so we're clearly not in panic mode.

Honeywell says the issue hasn't even reared its head in-flight, and that makes the fix unnecessary. Furthermore, they say an airline can choose to not have WiFi components used in the cockpit, making the fix even more unnecessary.

The FAA, though, is concerned about signals that aren't WiFi. Things like cellular signals and weather radar could possibly cause issues, so the fix is deemed mandatory.

Source: FAA

Via: BBC