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Fri, Jan 14, 2022

FAA Issues First Batch of 5G NOTAMs

'Good' News for Hand-Flying Aficionados: New NOTAMs May Prohibit Some Automation at 5G-Affected Airports

The FAA has published its first round of Notices To Air Missions regarding the soon-to-be activated 5G cell networks, placing warnings over 1,462 airports in an effort to ease the industry into a post-5G world with minimal issue.

The restrictions put into place warn that radio altimeters are unreliable and not authorized for use unless equipped with approved alternative methods of compliance. 

Nearly 1,500 of the warnings were published overnight to airports throughout the United States, primarily located at public-use airports within 42 miles of 46 metropolitan test markets for the country's biggest cell network operators. Verizon and T-Mobile will continue to expand their networks in the coming months and years, as data-hungry consumers require ever better performance from their devices. The problem as it stands won't go away any time soon, said the NBAA.

What effect the networks will have on the industry, if any, won't be apparent until they go into effect on January 19th.

The change may not be apparent until the affected airports are socked in with low visibility weather and incoming flights cannot  rely on their automation to do the demanding job of IFR approaches.

Category A and B takeoffs and landings are not authorized for aircraft unless in compliance with those NOTAMS published in December. The changes are expected to remain in effect through January of 2024, with the industry in a rush to establish fleet-wide fixes for any possible interference. 

“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.”

FMI: www.faa.govwww.faa.gov/5G_AD

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