Aerospace Industry calls for a Joint Working Group to find solutions to Potential 5G Interference on Radio Altimeters


Washington, DC, – 9 November 2021 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) joins a coalition of organisations representing the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers, airlines, pilots, and operators in calling for a delay to the deployment of 5G technologies to the C-band until the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS) is ensured.

In a letter to the National Economic Council (NEC), the coalition urges collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to convene a joint industry working group to bring the aviation and telecommunications industries together to find a long-term solution that will protect the flying public by ensuring radio altimeters operate accurately while allowing 5G to roll out safely.

“We believe it is incumbent on the National Economic Council to work with the FCC and FAA to convene a joint industry working group and continue to delay the deployment of 5G technologies in this band until the safety and efficiency of the NAS is ensured. The goal of this working group would be to reach acceptable mitigations,” they write. “Aviation will not be able to maintain the current level of public safety and economic activity without support from the Biden-Harris Administration and the implementation of mitigations by the cellular industry.”

The letter comes on the heels of the FAA issuing a bulletin alerting manufacturers, operators, and pilots that action may be needed to address potential interference with radio altimeters caused by 5G systems. Radio altimeters are crucial systems used by every commercial aircraft and helicopter and many general aviation aircraft.

“NBAA remains committed to working with regulators and our industry partners to identify workable solutions for all parties,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA senior director for air traffic services and infrastructure. “While high-speed data and communications hold many benefits, we must first and foremost ensure such systems do not compromise the safety and integrity of operations within our national airspace system.”

Joining NBAA on the letter are the Aerospace Industries Association, Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute, the Air Line Pilots Association International, the Airborne Public Safety Association, Airbus, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, Airlines for America, Aviation Spectrum Resources, Inc., the Boeing Company, the Cargo Airline Association, Collins Aerospace, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Free Flight Systems, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Garmin International, Inc., the Helicopter Association International, Honeywell International Inc., the International Air Transport Association, the National Air Carrier Association and the Regional Airline Association.