The FAA today released a virtual avalanche of notams in the face of potential disruptions in the function of radar altimeters ahead of the January 19 launch of AT&T and Verizon’s new 5G networks. According to HAI, the agency has published 1,500 notams primarily for public-use airports within the 46 Partial Economic Areas in the U.S. that will see 5G service using the C-band, including the 50 airports recently identified by the FAA. The notams address the unreliability of enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS), autoland, and helicopter hover autopilot modes, among others, and prohibits their use.
“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’s 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 instrument approach procedures due to potential interference affecting radar altimeters.”
Williams also noted that airframers and avionics manufacturers are “aggressively working” on alternative means of compliance (AMOC) that could allow operators to supersede the notam directives, and that they expect the FAA to approve an initial series of AMOCs soon. She cautioned that any such alternative means would apply only to the specific aircraft, avionics, and airports listed in the operator’s approved AMOC.