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FAA releases NOTAMs as 5G rollout date nears

The FAA has been working towards reducing the risk that the 5G service rollout could have on flights. Less than a week before the 5G launch date of January 19, the agency has issued nearly 1,500 NOTAMs to prohibit the use of flight instruments like enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS) and autoland that could experience interference.The FAA "has made progress to safely reduce the risk of delays and cancellations as wireless companies share more data and manufacturer altimeter testing results arrive," the agency said.After an ongoing battle between ATandamp;T, Verizon, and the FAA, a compromise was reached to delay the 5G service rollout by two weeks, moving the date from January 5 to January 19. It was also agreed that a buffer zone would be placed at 50 airports for the next six months to protect the area from 5G interference.RELATED: ATandamp;T, Verizon to delay 5G launch by two weeksAt midnight, the FAA published a total of 1,462 notices that apply to dozens of public-use airports within the 46 Partial Economic Areas that will experience 5G service. Over 100 NOTAMs were also released for instrument approach procedures and another 50 were airspace NOTAMs.The 50 airports with a 5G buffer zone are expected to also have NOTAMs to cover the areas.RELATED: FAA issues list of airports with 5G buffer"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."NBAA has been vocal about 5G interference over the years, having first raised concerns in 2015 about potential 5G telecommunications networks operating within the C-band.Williams emphasized that airframe and avionics OEMs are "aggressively working" on alternative means of compliance (AMOC) that would allow operators to supersede NOTAM directives, with the FAA expected to approve an initial series of AMOCs shortly. However, she cautioned such mitigations will only apply to specific aircraft, avionics and airports listed in the operator's approved AMOC.
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