The NBAA discussed the FAA industry briefing on 5G Band deployment and the progress made in ensuring an aircraft radar altimeter can function properly as the deployment continues in the National Airspace System (NAS).
The FAA recently proposed a requirement for 5G safeguards that passenger and cargo aircraft have 5G-Band-tolerant radio altimeters, or install an approved filter by 2024. The new proposed airworthiness directive would take place in February 2024. It will prohibit passenger and flight operations near 5G C-Band wireless transmitters unless otherwise approved by the FAA.
The NBAA said that the FAA had demonstrated that aviation and 5G C-Band services may co-exist safely. The FAA has worked with big providers like Verizon and ATandamp;T over concerns about the altimeter interference impacting aviation safety. Most air traffic control towers remain active and a retrofit plan has been made to enhance the performance of many radio altimeters.
Service providers have agreed to some delays of 5G usage until July 2023. The FAA and service providers have worked to create buffer zones around airports, to which U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Congress the issue would not be resolved by the summer deadline.
RELATED STORIES:FAA sets new deadline for 5G altimeter safeguardsFAA seeking the FCC's help with the 5G interference problemThe NBAA said that through the year of progression, the FAA has continued its work with Verizon, ATandamp;T and other telecom providers to find solutions to any interference. Officials reported that an operating framework currently exists that did not a year ago. This new framework could allow for 19 additional licensees to be implemented into the network.
Tens of thousands of towers are now in place within the NAS and about 3,000 airports are impacted. The FAA receives reports of possible 5G disruptions to aviation operations. The number of reports has been reduced, with 90 percent of the 586 filed reports since last January being closed and found not to be associated with 5G interference.
The FAA continues to issue alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) for the commercial fleet. This includes updated airport lists with detailed information about 5G concerns. The AMOCs are also being used for general aviation aircraft and the NBAA strongly urges operators to contact their OEMs to find out the status of their radar altimeter upgrade if operations are impacted.Read what the NBAA says about 5G development
"As part of an industry coalition, NBAA has been involved since the beginning in mitigating this issue to ensure the FAA has not ignored the impact on general aviation," NBAA Senior Director, Air Traffic Services and Infrastructure Heidi Williams said. "Operators who have invested resources to utilize RNP AR and other operational technologies are eager to take advantage of those capabilities, and we need the same emphasis placed on ensuring there are radar altimeter upgrades available for the general aviation community."