Nov. 1, 2023

The FAA recently updated guidance to operators and pilots regarding potential adverse effects on radio altimeters from 5G C-Band interference, recommending operators equip affected aircraft with 5G C-Band tolerant radio altimeters as soon as possible.

This guidance, published in SAFO 21007 – Risk of Potential Adverse Effects on Radio Altimeters when Operating in the Presence of 5G C-Band Interference – is the latest official update since the July 1 deadline for airlines to equip their aircraft with filters to reduce the risk of adverse effects from 5G C-Band interference.

In the SAFO, the FAA explains the risk of interference is highest for aircraft that have not been retrofit and interference could cause systems to operate in an unexpected way during any phase of flight but most critically during takeoff, approach and landing phases. A list of potentially impacted systems is included in the SAFO; however, operators and pilots should note this list is not exhaustive.

Nineteen more wireless companies are starting to deploy 5G C-Band emitters throughout the contiguous U.S., the agency reported, making the process of NOTAM and Alternative Method of Compliance runway lists “untenable.”

“NBAA encourages aircraft owners and operators to consult with their OEMs regarding the need and availability of upgrades or filters. Pilots and operators should continue to watch for relevant NOTAMs related to 5G interference risks,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA senior director of air traffic services and infrastructure.

Pilots and operators should also become familiar with content of the SAFO and pilots should continue to report any radio altimeter anomaly to the FAA.

Read FAA’s SAFO 21007 (PDF)