The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ordering airlines to replace more than 1,300 display units in cockpits in Boeing Co. airplanes to avoid interference from Wi-Fi, cellular and electronic devices within the next five years. These displays were produced by Honeywell International Inc. It is crucial that these units function correctly because they are responsible for providing navigation, altitude and airspeed information to pilots and co-pilots.
“The display units were susceptible to interference from Wi-Fi frequencies. Independent tests conducted by the agency and Boeing both showed blanking on the screens when Wi-Fi devices were used near them. The displays are also susceptible to transmissions from mobile phones, weather radar and mobile satellite communications,” the FAA said.
However; Steve Brecken, Honeywell spokesman, does not agree. He stated that no display screens were affected by Wi-Fi interference.
“The only know occurrence was during a developmental test conducted on the ground. We worked with Boeing and addressed any concerns in 2012 with new display hardware,” he said.
It will cost more than 14 million dollars to replace all of the display units; each unit costs more than one thousand dollars.