Exploring Cellular-Based Private Wireless Networks for the U.S. Aviation Industry

An airport is both an organization and a facility with a complex network of stakeholders and systems (airlines, federal and state agencies, ground handlers, police, fire, etc.), all focused on the safe, secure, and efficient movement of aircraft, cargo, passengers, and other assets. Airports typically have a large campus and a complex set of connectivity requirements serving a variety of operational and customer service needs. These complex systems, across thousands of acres and millions of square feet of interior and exterior space, must communicate in a robust, high-bandwidth, low-latency, secure fashion. Cellular-based private wireless networks (PWNs) have the potential to improve and expand connectivity across these complex systems and large areas. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), which is the 3.55–3.7 GHz band, for these types of complex environments. The OnGo Alliance, a coalition of companies, has been addressing certification standards and encouraging the adoption of technology that would provide connectivity in this spectrum band, especially as the industry advances into newer standards of wireless access technology. The objective of this research is to develop a guide that identifies and discusses opportunities and challenges for the deployment of cellular-based PWNs at U.S. airports over CBRS spectrum. This should include a 4–5 minute explainer video that clearly and succinctly describes a cellular-based PWN and discusses its application in the airport environment. The research should address risk, resiliency, security implications, and ramifications for current and future applicable regulations. In addition, the research should identify and address the stakeholders that may participate in, benefit from, and/or be affected by the implementation of this technology.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 07-21

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Griffin, Matthew

  • Performing Organizations:

    Barich, Incorporated

    Chandler, AZ  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ingalls, Samuel

  • Start Date: 20230523
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240522
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01854732
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 07-21
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 16 2022 5:13PM