RAA Testifies Before Congress on 5G Deployment and Impact on Regional Airlines and Small Community Air Service
Regional Airline Association (RAA) president and CEO, Faye Malarkey Black, testifies at The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Aviation Subcommittee hearing, titled “Finding the Right Frequency: 5G Deployment & Aviation Safety.” She comments on the negative effects of a patchwork of broadly restrictive NOTAMs and case-by-case AMOC approvals, which has disrupted regional airline passengers disproportionately.
“The impact on regional airlines has been especially pronounced," Black notes. "Because the negotiated safeguards against 5G interference are insufficient, the FAA has issued far fewer AMOCs for regional aircraft compared with larger equipment, and more than half of the fleet remains restricted at dozens of airports. These restricted aircraft provide more than 130,000 monthly flights and the only source of air service to 27 airports.”
Black offers examples of 5G delays including PAE and HOU, instances where regional airlines were restricted from using radio altimeter to safely operate during periods of fog, and noted instances where restricted fleet types provide more than one of three departures at key hub airports with NOTAMs.
“The deployment of 5G around airports is the cause of potential disruptions and delays, not faulty or defective radio-altimeters installed on regional aircraft," Black continues. "These radio-altimeters meet current regulatory and certification standards established by the FAA. Unfortunately, these standards became irrelevant when the FCC auctioned C-Band spectrum near the radio-altimeter operating frequency without full consideration of the consequences.”
RAA urges all stakeholders to continue working to mitigate root problems of 5G interference with radio altimeters to provide for the safe operation of all aircraft.
Faye Malarkey Black’s testimony can be found at https://www.raa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/2.3.2022_RAA-Testimony_Faye-Malarkey-Black_5G-Impacts-Hearing-FINAL.pdf.