Two attacks on GPS Navigation Integrity could cause an aviation disaster

navigation deterioration
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GPS created by DOD and needs testing

5G entrepreneurs need bandwidth and FCC might award 

Both degrade Aviation Safety’s reliance on GPS

AOPA and NBAA have sent a strongly worded letter to the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense expressing concern about intentional interference with Global Positioning System. DOD testing of its system may be justified, but a consequence of that alteration is a degradation of civil aviation safety.

PLUS, the US Civil Aviation team, in a rare moment of unity, and the Key Congressional Members expressed severe opposition to the Federal Communications Commission about its proposal to reallocate more than half of the 5.9 GHz radio frequency band (or Safety Band) to unlicensed operations, such as Wi-Fi. 

GPS was created by DOD the in the 1970s and made available to the public by President Reagan in the 1980s. Now operated by the United States Space Force, the civilian uses of this navigational system have exploded. The satellites’ signals are critical to aviation navigation and safety of flight. The FAA’s future NextGen air traffic control system is built on reliable GPS location identification.

military gps interference







Below is a thorough article about the NBAA/AOPA letter to the DOD/FAA. Their plea should bring a response from the GPS operators with some recognition of and concession to aviation safety.

To put this crippling in context, the aviation safety use is being degraded by the FCC. There are technical, political, trade and safety dimensions to the debate, as explained in these posts:

      • A strong technical critique

RNT Foundation’s Opinion About GPS Drill Should Increase The Volume Of AOPA’s ConcernsRNTF review








      • The political clout behind the 5G usepolitics

Aviation Safety V. Communications Clout—Ligado’s GPS Interference





      • Congress reaction

Rare Bipartisan Letter Should Make The FCC Realize The Safety Significance Of The 5.9 GHz Radio Frequency Bandbipartisan letter








5G interference

      • Another Iteration in the Debate

Round Three In The 5G V. GPS FCC Battle




      • Backstory? Trade and China

A Technical Battle FCC V. DOD, FAA, Etc. May Involve Much MoreChina







Aviation Safety may be weakened by these two assaults on GPS’ integrity. Certainly a coincidence, but if both succeed, a calamity in the air may ensue.




NBAA, AOPA Call Upon Agencies to Mitigate Impact of Intentional GPS Interference

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

Mar 8th, 2021


Flight track

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense (DOD), [links to the contacts at each] expressed concern about restrictions to airspace and airports caused by the intentional jamming of GPS and are seeking mitigations on the operational impact of these interference events.




gps aopa nbaa letter

In a letter to the FAA and DOD, the organizations recognized the importance of DOD’s mission and the agency’s need to simulate the loss of GPS as part of its effort to defend and maintain the global navigation system. However, as NBAA and AOPA noted, the National Airspace System (NAS) has become increasingly reliant on GPS as the primary source of navigation and aircraft system functionality, while reducing reliance on ground-based navigational infrastructure.

“Despite reduced operations in the NAS over the past year, general aviation continues to show increased activity and volume, exceeding commercial airline operations,” the letter states. “In recent months, operators have continued to report operational impacts and reduced access to airspace and airports resulting from intentional GPS jamming events.”

The associations’ letter also noted the aviation community had not received a response from the FAA or DOD to a 2018 RTCA report on the operational impacts of intentional GPS interference, which included more than two dozen detailed recommendations to limit the operational impact of these events on civilian air traffic.

RTCA report

During the RTCA deliberations, the FAA and DOD acknowledged that the frequency and impact of these intentional jamming events grew significantly over the preceding decade and would continue to escalate, the trade groups added.

 NBAA williams and  AOPA Coon

“The growing reliance on GPS in the National Airspace System, combined with the increasing frequency of intentional GPS jamming events, makes it imperative that the FAA and the DOD have mitigations in place to ensure the safety and reliability of the NAS during these events,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA director, air traffic services and infrastructure. “We look forward to working with the agencies to employ the RTCA report’s recommendations and ensure our national security and the safety and efficiency of the NAS.”

“It is vital that pilots have continuity and access to optimal navigational and safety tools, of which GPS is vital,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs and advocacy. “We strongly support our warfighters, but we believe DOD and FAA should review their GPS testing processes so that our nation’s airspace continues to be as safe as possible.”




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