AOPA and NBAA say the FAA and the U.S. Air Force need to figure out how to minimize the effects on civilian aviation while they test the hardness of military GPS. There are almost always NOTAMs warning of potential GPS outages as the military intentionally jams signals for training and research. The groups say they understand the need for the testing, but it’s disruptive and potentially dangerous for others using the signals. “The NAS has become increasingly reliant on GPS as the primary source of navigation and aircraft system functionality while reducing the ground based navigational backup infrastructure,” the joint letter reads. It also notes the tests are on the increase and the government agencies have said they will continue to expand.
In 2017, the FAA asked the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) for suggestions on how to minimize the impact of the testing on the rest of the system. The RTCA submitted a dozen ideas in early 2018 but the FAA and USAF have been silent on what they think of them. “Therefore, NBAA and AOPA are seeking a detailed briefing and update on the status of that industry report, including the work done over the past several years to help provide operational relief,” the letter says.