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A nationwide aeronautical data communications network for air traffic services is being planned for en route implementation beginning in 2018. Operating the network will require tradeoffs between spectrum conservation and interference prevention. While it may not be possible to preclude radio-frequency interference entirely, it is important to keep interference levels at the lowest levels consistent with the amount of spectrum available. In this paper we describe a methodology for attaining that goal through the use of “soft” (flexible) frequency-assignment rules.