Helicopters Magazine

HAI adds voice backing Ligado testing

June 21, 2018  By Helicopters Staff

Helicopter Association International (HAI), based in Alexandria, VA, joined what it describes as a coalition of 10 other aviation-related associations in delivering a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the Ligado Networks Proposal.

The Ligado Networks Proposal, explains HAI, seeks to establish a cellular network within a satellite frequency band adjacent to the band used by aviation global positioning systems. The aviation groups seek testing to ensure there is no interference with guidance systems on aircraft operating near the towers.

“Specifically, we remain concerned with the initiative by Ligado Networks to establish a terrestrial cellular network within what is a satellite frequency band,” states the letter, dated June 15, 2018. “Interference issues that have the potential to negatively impact the operational aviation environment remain unresolved, and require definitive testing and evaluation before any system deployment.

“We fully recognize the value that robust connectivity systems offer during aviation operations,” the letter continues. “Enhanced communications, real-time data exchange and flight tracking, as examples, can all benefit from such systems. However, we cannot ignore the risk potential that the Ligado Networks proposal presents to aviation operations.”

HAI is a professional trade association for the civil helicopter industry. The group claims to hold more than 1,500 organizational members and 1,800 individual members, collectively operating more than 4,500 helicopters and approximately 2.3 million flight hours each year in 73 nations.


The other associations which support the testing include Air Line Pilots Association; Airborne Public Safety Association; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Airlines for America; Association of Air Medical Services, Helicopter Safety Advisory Conference; National Agricultural Aviation Association; National Business Aviation Association; National EMS Pilots Association; and the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association.


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