Dec. 27, 2021

The FAA recently provided guidance to operators regarding potential adverse effects on radio altimeters, and the role of NOTAMs in identifying geographic areas where certain operations requiring a radio altimeter are prohibited in the presence of 5G signals adjacent to the C-band.

This guidance was published in Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 21007, Risk of Potential Adverse Effects on Radio Altimeters when Operating in the Presence of 5G C-Band Interference. Review the SAFO.

NBAA is part of a coalition of more than 20 industry groups, aircraft and avionics manufacturers, airlines, pilots and operators, which has called for a delay in the deployment of 5G technologies to the C-band until safety in the National Airspace System is ensured.

AT&T and Verizon Communications recently agreed to voluntarily postpone commercial launch of C-band 5G wireless service until Jan. 5.

In a positive step, the FAA and Federal Communications Commission published on Dec. 23 a joint statement describing the agencies’ commitments to allowing 5G C-band service and aviation to “safely coexist.”

“NBAA is continuing its efforts as part of this coalition to work aggressively towards mitigating the impact of 5G deployment, but in the interim, until we determine appropriate mitigations and solutions, pilots and operators can expect to see these NOTAMs proliferate through the system,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA senior director of air traffic services and infrastructure.

Pilots and operators should become familiar with the sample NOTAMs in the SAFO and review any NOTAMs applicable to their flights.

Pilots should report any radio altimeter anomaly to the FAA using an online form.

For additional information, review the Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin AIR-21-18R1 published Dec. 23; Airworthiness Directives 2021-23-12 and 2021-23-13; and SAFO 21007.