The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently updated its guidelines for operators and pilots regarding potential adverse effects on radio altimeters caused by interference from the C-Band 5G spectrum. The FAA now strongly recommends that affected aircraft be equipped with 5G-tolerant radio altimeters as soon as possible.
This guidance, published in SAFO 21007, marks the latest official update since the July 1st deadline for airlines to equip their aircraft with filters, particularly aimed at reducing the risk of adverse effects stemming from C-Band 5G interference. The FAA's advisory states that the risk of interference is more pronounced for non-modernized aircraft, as interference could lead to unexpected system behavior during any phase of flight, with the most critical risks during takeoff, approach, and landing.
The SAFO includes a list of affected systems; however, operators and pilots should be aware that this list is not exhaustive. The FAA emphasizes that 19 additional wireless companies are in the process of implementing C-Band 5G transmitters across the United States, making the NOTAM runway listings and Alternative Means of Compliance process increasingly unsustainable.
Pilots and operators are reminded to remain vigilant for relevant NOTAMs related to 5G interference risks and to become familiar with the content of the SAFO. They should also continue reporting any radio altimeter anomalies to the FAA.
In response to the evolving landscape of wireless technology and aviation, the FAA's guidance aims to enhance aviation safety by mitigating potential interference risks and ensuring that aircraft are equipped to operate smoothly in the presence of C-Band 5G signals. Staying informed and taking proactive measures to address this challenge is of paramount importance for the aviation industry.
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