Jan. 12, 2022

The FAA will soon publish more than 1,300 notices to air missions (NOTAMs) addressing operational practices and mitigations due to potential disruptions to the safe operation of radar altimeters from 5G networks.

Scheduled for publication on Jan. 13 at 12:01 a.m. (EST) with an effective date of Jan. 19 – when the new 5G networks from AT&T and Verizon will go live – the NOTAMs primarily cover public-use airports that lie within the 46 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) nationwide that will see 5G service, along with more than 100 NOTAMs addressing instrument approach procedures (IAPs) and approximately 50 airspace NOTAMs.

The new NOTAMs are expected to include the 50 airports identified last week by the FAA and the telecom providers that will host 5G signal mitigations, including reduced-power transmitters, for six months following the rollout.

View the FAA list of airports with 5G mitigations. (PDF)

Airports that lie outside a PEA may also be NOTAM’d due to differences in PEA boundaries established by the Federal Communications Commission and the 42-mile diameter around known 5G antenna locations used by the FAA.

“This obviously continues to be a rapidly-evolving situation, and it is imperative that business aviation operators be aware of all NOTAMs affecting their flights and what they may entail,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA senior director for air traffic services and infrastructure. “Guidance included in these NOTAMs may range from simple advisories about 5G network operations in the area to prohibitions of some IAPs due to potential interference affecting radar altimeters.”

NBAA urges operators to review the new NOTAMs at notams.aim.faa.gov.

Williams emphasized that airframe and avionics OEMs are “aggressively working” on alternative means of compliance (AMOC) that would allow operators to supersede NOTAM directives, with the FAA expected to approve an initial series of AMOCs shortly. However, she cautioned such mitigations will only apply to specific aircraft, avionics and airports listed in the operator’s approved AMOC.

Operators with questions may contact NBAA at ops@nbaa.org.