FAA shows ‘example NOTAMs’ for possible 5G restrictions

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The FAA has prepared samples NOTAMs, it could start broadcasting from January 5 when 5G broadband service begins in 46 cities. If NOTAMs are released, they would significantly affect the operations of airlines, commuter airlines, and many charter and business aircraft. In a press release published on December 23, the agency said it would ban the use of many instrument approaches and any aircraft systems that rely on radar altimeter data, including automatic landing, heads-up displays and systems improved vision “where 5G interference is possible”.

In the statement, the agency says it is working with the FCC and telecom carriers to allow systems to coexist safely, but until that process is complete, it is ready to begin restricting operations. if she thinks there is a chance that the radar altimeter could be rendered unreliable by 5G. Below is an example NOTAM of the type that could be issued covering some or all of the airports that the FAA believes could be affected by 5G. Again, this is not a real NOTAM. This is just a sample of what might be released when 5G goes live on January 5.

Example of aerodrome NOTAM for airports:

BDL AD AP RDO ALTIMETER UNREL. AUTOLAND, HUD TO TOUCHDOWN, ENHANCED FLT VISION SYSTEMS TO TOUCHDOWN NOT AUTHORIZED EXC FOR ACFT USING APPROVED ALTERNATIVE COMPLIANCE METHODS DUE TO 5G C-BAND INTERFERENCE MORE VIEW AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE 2021-23-12

And below is an example NOTAM covering instrument approaches:

Example of IAP NOTAM against impacted approaches (SA CAT I/II, CAT II, ​​III or RNP AR): BDL IAP BRADLEY INTL, WINDSOR LOCKS, CT. ILS RWY 06 (SA CAT I AND SA CAT II), AMDT 13A… ILS RWY 06 (CAT II AND CAT III), AMDT 38A… RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 06, AMDT 1… RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 24, AMDT 1…NOT AUTHORIZED PROCEDURE EXCEPT FOR ACFT USING APPROVED ALTERNATE COMPLIANCE METHODS DUE TO 5G C-BAND INTERFERENCE MORE SEE AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE 2021-23-12

There may also be NOTAMs issued for private airfields with GPS approaches and helicopter operations requiring radar altimeters for hover autopilot modes, search and rescue autopilot modes, and approaches to helipad instruments. The FAA says it will allow exemptions for those who have approved alternate methods of compliance, but we are not aware of any exemptions that have been issued. There are concerns that 5G signals, which use 3700-3998 MHz, could outperform radar altimeter signals, which operate in the 4200-4400 MHz band. So far, the FCC and telecoms have maintained there is no evidence such interference will occur, but the FAA and aviation groups have said there is no evidence that that would not be the case.


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