Owners of business aircraft are being urged not to delay their implementation of ADS-B equipment ahead of the upcoming 2020 mandates.
ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast.
“Automatic” because requires neither pilot nor other inputs and “Dependent” because it depends on data from the aircraft’s navigation system.
ADS-B-equipped aircraft broadcast their precise position in space via a digital datalink (the global interoperable frequency is 1090MHz) along with other data, including groundspeed, altitude, and whether the aircraft is climbing, or descending.
One of the greatest benefits of ADS-B is its ability to provide the same real-time information to both pilots in aircraft cockpits and ground controllers, so that, for the first time, ADS-B equipped aircraft can both “see” the same data, as long as all aircraft in the vicinity are similarly equipped.
The European Commission (EC) originally issued a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) announcing its intent to mandate carriage of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) transponders by 2015. This was to apply to all aircraft, both European and non-European, but those weighing less than 12,500 pounds and with cruise speeds below 250 knots was to be exempt.
But the EC then delayed the mandate for ADS-B Out in its airspace, with the new dates being June 8, 2016, for new aircraft and June 7, 2020, for retrofit.
This applies to aircraft with a civilian registration operating IFR/GAT in Europe and with a maximum certified take-off mass exceeding 5 700 kg or having a maximum cruising true airspeed capability greater than 250 knots.
These are required to carry and operate Mode S Level 2s transponder(s) with Mode S Elementary Surveillance (ELS), Enhanced Surveillance (EHS) (for fixed wing aircraft) and ADS-B 1090MHZ Extended Squitter (ES) capabilities.
The revised date for retrofits is more closely aligned with the U.S. ADS-B Out mandate that requires the equipment to be operational in aircraft that fly where transponders are currently required after midnight on Dec. 31, 2019.
Not surprisingly, there is now a big push by manufacturers to get ADS-B equipment retrofitted.
Rockwell Collins says it doesn’t expect the mandates to be delayed and is urging owners to move head now, saying ADS-B is a cornerstone of future airspace modernisation programmes.
Aaron Child, Principal Marketing Manager, EuMEA for Rockwell Collins, said: “We’ve seen the pace of ADS-B Out upgrades increasing. However, thousands of business aircraft remain to be equipped so while we’re encouraged with what we are hearing from the market we still have lots of work ahead of us to get everyone equipped by 2020.
“For in-service aircraft, we are focusing on ADS-B Out equipage at this time. Operators will not see benefits of ADS-B In until a critical mass of aircraft are equipped for ADS-B Out.”
Rockwell Collins says it has developed airspace modernisation packages for Pro Line 21-equipped King Air and Hawker aircraft. The company says the packages are attractively priced compared with buying each upgrade individually.
Child concluded: “Start discussing upgrade options, costs and aircraft downtime with your maintenance providers today. Procrastination will put you in long queues for the upgrade, higher costs, and risk of non-compliance when the mandate takes effect; effectively grounding their aircraft.”
The FAA has a $500 ADS-B incentive, but it applies to single engine piston aircraft. Companies are also offering deals on ADS-B upgrades.
- You can read a longer feature by Steve Nichols on the benefits of ADS-B in the pre-EBACE edition of BART International magazine.