Pilots: Why documenting GPS anomalies is important

Paul Smith Top Story

HAI regularly publishes FAA Flight Advisories (FA) in Rotor Daily that notify pilots of planned GPS interference testing.

For example, on November 29, 2018, the FAA issued an FA for GPS interference testing planned near the vicinity of White Sands Missile Range in Alamogordo, NM, scheduled to take place on December 1–16, 2018. The FA provides the location, dates and times, duration, and NOTAM info that list the radius and altitudes affected. Pilots operating in or near these areas are encouraged to report anomalies per the Airman’s Information Manual.

The FAA provides a GPS Anomaly Reporting Form where pilots can easily provide data regarding GPS anomalies experienced while flying. Pilots experiencing such anomalies are highly encouraged to make a report.

Without this data, the FAA has no way of knowing about the impact of this testing on helicopter operations. Through your reports, the FAA can accurately track and document such occurrences, and then provide the aggregate data to the DoD so that government officials are aware of the impact this testing has upon US air traffic.

Documented complaints from pilots about GPS interference range from slight indications to serious effects. AOPA recently reported that “aircraft have been documented going off course” and “in 2018 to date, there have been more than 170 documented instances” of GPS interference.

HAI represents the helicopter community on relevant FAA committees and working groups, as on the RTCA government/industry committee that is working on the GPS interference testing. HAI will continue to maintain close communications with the FAA to assess the situation. We want to ensure helicopter operators are considered when assessing the impact of GPS interference testing on US commercial air traffic, as well as on the large general aviation sector in the United States.


Matt Callan
Director, Regulations & International Affairs
Helicopter Association International

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