It’s an exciting, pivotal time in business aviation, as emerging technologies promise to make the industry safer, more efficient and more sustainable than ever.
This period follows decades of leadership in developing or adopting numerous groundbreaking innovations, including winglets, lightweight composite airframes and GPS.
In fact, this Technology Issue of Business Aviation Insider offers insight into more recent advances, including [automated flight], and [flight data monitoring].
More than ever, it’s critical that business aviation continues to lead technology development and deployment while looking beyond the innovations themselves to fully understand their wider, external impacts.
Recent headlines remind us that even highly beneficial technologies – such as the continued rollout of 5G cellular networks, and the widespread availability of ADS-B tracking – often bring challenges that require attention and mobilization.
For example, the safety concerns surrounding potential 5G signal interference with radio altimeters have long been a concern for NBAA and a broad coalition of aviation stakeholders, which have continuously pressed government leaders to proceed with caution on the rollout of 5G infrastructure, and implement measures to limit 5G’s impact on aviation.
This matter is far from resolved: As these temporary mitigations are about to expire, there is still no FAA-approved retrofit solution for a significant portion of business aircraft. We’ve asked the agency to approve an alternate means of compliance, or the necessary radar altimeter modifications that would allow operators to fly safely nationwide.
Another technology challenge surrounds ADS-B flight tracking. NBAA supports the promise this cornerstone technology holds for aviation safety and efficiency. Unfortunately, we also know that there is no user-friendly way to opt out of real-time ADS-B tracking for legitimate reasons of safety, security and privacy. NBAA has called on the FAA to address this top priority for the association and industry.
Looking ahead, NBAA and its members will continue to take the lead on matters of technology development and deployment, including as it relates to this year’s FAA reauthorization legislation, currently being debated in Congress.
For example, NBAA, along with the Aeronautical Information Reform Coalition, has recommended that the agency embrace technologies that allow for greater digitization, automation and resilience against interruption. This includes completing a NOTAM backup system to maintain safety and prevent disruption of daily operations, such as the nationwide ground stop last January.
Our industry welcomes continued engagement as we develop policy solutions that leverage technologies to continually strengthen our unrivaled National Airspace System; enhance the efficiency, safety and security of flight; reduce the sector’s carbon footprint and offer other benefits that ensure the United States will remain the gold standard in aviation.