As of Friday, Jan. 14, the FAA had issued over 1,600 Notices to Air Missions (NOTAMs). The NOTAMs delineate geographic areas where certain restrictions or limitations provided in two recently issued airworthiness directives (ADs) are applicable.

The two ADs, one for helicopters (AD 2021-23-13) and one for airplanes (AD 2021-23-12), and NOTAMs were issued by the FAA to maintain the safety of the US National Airspace System once 5G wireless systems are deployed on Jan. 19, 2021, by Verizon Communications and AT&T in 46 areas around the country.

The NOTAMs are available on the FAA’s website. To bring up all 5G-related NOTAMs, select FREE TEXT from the dropdown menu on the left, enter 5G in the search field, and hit ENTER.

These NOTAMs and AD 2021-23-13 will have a significant impact on certain helicopter operations across the country. HAI felt it was vital to bring them to your attention as quickly as possible so that you will have time to review any that are applicable to your operations.

HAI to Provide Additional Analysis to Members
HAI will provide to members an analysis of the implications of the NOTAMs once the HAI staff have carefully reviewed them. Please watch your in-box and ROTOR Daily for that information.

This unprecedented action from the agency that maintains the safest airspace in the world is indicative of the serious impact on safety it believes 5G interference with radar (radio) altimeters poses—and the danger that 5G interference presents to not only rotorcraft but all of aviation.

FAA Approves HAI Petition for Exemption to Allow Air Ambulance Operations
The FAA has partially approved a petition for exemption that HAI had submitted in anticipation of 5G C band deployment, seeking relief from regulations that require a normally functioning radio altimeter for certain operations.

This exemption will allow Part 119 certificate holders authorized to conduct helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operations under Part 135, subpart L, to continue Part 135 helicopter operations while employing radar altimeters that may not function normally due to 5G C band interference. The relief will also allow the use of night-vision goggles (NVGs) in HAA operations.

These exemptions are contingent on certain conditions and limitations. All pilots conducting operations under the exemption are required to receive and maintain a record of proper training. Additional conditions for NVG operations include the installation of a movable searchlight and a requirement for pilots or crew members to establish radio contact with ground personnel at a landing site so they can receive and confirm a description of the landing site.

This exemption will allow HAA operators to continue to do what they do best—save lives. HAI’s top priority will always be safety, and we will continue to work with FAA to determine the best solutions, whether through exemptions or through alternative methods of compliance, to provide all our members with the means for continued safe operation.”

Alternative Methods of Compliance
HAI is partnering with the FAA to provide a method for collecting operator input that will be used to identify alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) that will have the greatest impact on facilitating helicopter operations. These AMOCs could then be prioritized for consideration by the FAA.

HAI has developed a portal to collect information from operators affected by the FAA’s restrictions related to 5G deployment. We encourage all operators—whether HAI member or nonmember—to visit rotor.org/5g-amoc and submit information about how 5G has negatively affected their ability to operate. That information will help the FAA to measure the scope of the issues caused by 5G interference and, where possible, to provide remedies through AMOCs.

All information submitted via the HAI 5G AMOC portal will be de-identified. HAI will only share the aggregate data and will only share that aggregate data with the FAA. HAI will not sell, share, or provide the raw data to any entity, agency, or organization.

Working to Keep Your Rotors Turning
HAI is an active participant in a coalition of aviation partners who continue to work side-by-side with the FAA to prevent the reckless implementation of 5G. We maintain that 5G and aviation can coexist but not in an arrangement that reduces any element of aviation safety. HAI is the voice of the rotorcraft industry in these discussions, with our goal being that your operations can continue uninterrupted and as safely as ever.

Please be safe and fly safe.

Author

  • James Viola

    James A. Viola is HAI’s president and CEO. After a career as a US Army aviator, he joined the FAA, where he served as director of the Office of General Aviation Safety Assurance before joining HAI. A dual-rated pilot, Jim holds ATP ratings in both airplanes and helicopters and is a CFII. Jim can be contacted at president@rotor.org.

James Viola

James Viola

James A. Viola is HAI’s president and CEO. After a career as a US Army aviator, he joined the FAA, where he served as director of the Office of General Aviation Safety Assurance before joining HAI. A dual-rated pilot, Jim holds ATP ratings in both airplanes and helicopters and is a CFII. Jim can be contacted at president@rotor.org.

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