Image: John Wiseman (@lemonodor) who runs

What’s New: Interesting depictions and video of warnings about possible outages for various GPS-enabled aviation traffic and safety systems.

Why It’s Important:

  • GPS is essential to virtually every technology system and many, many applications. Problems with GPS can be problems elsewhere.
  • Since the U.S. does not have an interference monitoring and detection system, the best we can do is use proxies like ADS-B outages and warnings. RNTF member and aviation navigation expert Mitch Narins tells us that all of these warnings are essentially advisories of potential GPS problems. Not about the traffic and safety systems themselves.
  • Pilots of general aviation (smaller, non-commercial) aircraft are allowed to fly in the clouds and navigate using just GPS. And many depend on GPS for navigation all the time. Not having GPS is a safety of life issue for them.

What Else to Know:

  • These “Notices to Air Missions” or NOTAMs don’t all reflect outages. Some are warnings from the government that their are or may be outages.
  • Many of these notices may be for testing at night when much fewer aircraft are impacted.

See video of two years of warnings day by day here (and ensure you have the sound on!): or click image below.