Countdown begins for mandatory ADS-B fitment

The deadline for fitment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology in aircraft operating within Australian airspace at and above 29,000 feet (FL290) is now less than two years away.

Australias air traffic control surveillance future is tied to ADS-B a satellite based air navigation system that enables aircraft to be accurately tracked by air traffic controllers, and other pilots, without the need for conventional radar.

Due to come into affect on 12 December 2013, the mandate, introduced by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in 2009, requires operators of aircraft flying at and above FL290 to have ADS-B equipment installed and operating correctly.

Given the timeframes associated with equipment installation, Airservices is encouraging all operators have ADS-B in advance of the mandate.

We are now seeing over 70 per cent of all international flights flying in our flight information region getting the ADS-B service, said Airservices senior engineering specialist and ADS-B program manager, Greg Dunstone. A small number of airlines and business jet operators appear to have not yet made the move to have ADS-B installed. We would emphasise the need for them to get a move on as we do not anticipate that CASA will grant exemptions.

Benefits of ADS-B equippage include reduced radar separation standards for aircraft, which translates to fewer delays, reduced use of stepped climbs and descents and more clearances granted to fly requested routes or levels.

Non-ABS-B equipped aircraft will be restricted to operate below FL290, resulting in less operational flexibility and the potential for delays due to the procedural separation standards will be applied outside radar airspace.

More information on ADS-B and the 12 December 2013 mandate can be found on the airservices website at projects/ads-b
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