RAA Testifies Before Congress on 5G Deployment and Impact on Regional Airlines and Small Community Air Service

Washington, DC, February 3, 2022. Media contact: media@raa.org

Regional Airline Association (RAA) President and CEO Faye Malarkey Black testified at today’s House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Aviation Subcommittee hearing, titled, “Finding the Right Frequency: 5G Deployment & Aviation Safety” to comment on the negative effects of a patchwork of broadly restrictive NOTAMs and case by case AMOC approvals, which has disrupted regional airline passengers disproportionately.

Black noted: “The impact on regional airlines has been especially pronounced. 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.”

Ms. Black offered 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.

Black further continued: “The deployment of 5G around airports is the cause of potential disruptions and delays not faulty or defective radio-altimeters installed on regional aircraft. 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 here.

About RAA  

The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable and strong regional airline industry. RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines and industry business partners. In the United States, regional airlines operate 43% of scheduled passenger flights and provide the only source of scheduled air service to 66% of the nation’s airports. Regional airlines provide 75% or more of the air service in Alabama (81%), Alaska (87%), Arkansas (85%), Iowa (81%), Kansas (80%), Kentucky (76%), Maine (87%), Mississippi (94%), Montana (79%), North Dakota (87%), South Dakota (86%), Vermont (92%), West Virginia (92%). Regional airlines provide half or more of the air service in Idaho (74%), Illinois (54%), Indiana (59%), Michigan (60%), Minnesota (51%), Nebraska (65%), New Hampshire (73%), New Mexico (59%), North Carolina (56%), Ohio (56%), Oklahoma (55%), Oregon (62%), Pennsylvania (58%), Puerto Rico (71%), South Carolina (61%), Virginia (57%), Wisconsin (67%), and Wyoming (68%).