ADS-B Equipage in Australia – Not “If” but “When”

If you currently fly in or plan to fly in Australian airspace, some recent changes to ADS-B Out mandate enforcement dates may impact you. If you don’t have ADS-B Out now, your compliance date may vary, but you’ll eventually need to equip to fly Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in Australian airspace.  On November 22nd, The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued two documents, CASA 113/16 and CASA 114/16, which provide temporary ADS-B Out equipage exemptions to certain aircraft operations.

Until recently, all aircraft, regardless of country of registration operating under IFR in Australian airspace, would have been required to have ADS-B Out effective February 2, 2017.  Now that’s changed slightly.  Here’s how the release of CASA 113/16 and CASA 114/16 impacts you:

Scenario 1:

I’m an Australian registered commercial transport, charter or aerial work aircraft operating under IFR rules in Australian airspace.

Impact:  The February 2, 2017 ADS-B Out mandate still applies to you so make sure you’re equipped!  With only one month remaining, if you fit this scenario and are not equipped, talk to your avionics installer today!

Scenario 2:

I’m an Australian registered private aircraft operating under IFR rules in Australian airspace.

Impact:  An exemption to ADS-B equipage is available to you from February 2, 2017 to January 1, 2020.  However, some conditions apply so you need to consider these before you delay your upgrade. From CASA 114/16:

  • The aircraft must be one that was manufactured before February 6, 2014;
  • The aircraft must be operated below 10,000 feet above MSL;
  • Any operation by the aircraft in Class C or Class E airspace is restricted to arrival at, or departure from, a Class D aerodrome;
  • For any operation in Class C or Class E airspace, the aircraft must be fitted with an SSR (Secondary Surveillance Radar) transponder;
  • For any operation in Class C, D or E airspace, the pilot of the aircraft must have been given clearance for the flight by Air Traffic Control (ATC);
  • The flight plan for the operation must include the following details at item 18 of the plan: RMK/NIL ADSB AUTH.

Note: This authorisation instrument does not mean that appropriate ATC clearance to enter Class C, D or E airspace is automatic or guaranteed.  ATC makes clearance decisions subject to prevailing air traffic and operational conditions at the time of the flight.

This exemption is applicable in Class C CTA steps, Class D CTR and CTA steps, Class E CTA steps and Class G airspace under the conditions listed above.  For private aircraft operators seeking to fly in Class A and Class C CTR airspace, this exemption is not applicable and you’ll still need to equip with ADS-B Out by Feb. 2, 2017.

Scenario 3:  

I’m a foreign registered aircraft operating under IFR rules in Australian airspace.

Impact:  CASA 113/16 provides an exemption from ADS-B equipage from Feb. 2, 2017 through June 6, 2020 (the European mandate deadline).  There are also operational conditions which apply here, too.  From CASA 113/16:

  • The aircraft must be equipped with an SSR (Secondary Surveillance Radar) transponder;
  • For operations in OCA (Oceanic Control Area) and Oceanic Class G Airspace — the operation must be planned but may be planned at any flight level or altitude;
  • For operations in Continental Airspace — the operation must be planned below FL290;
  • For operations in SSR surveillance airspace — the operation may proceed at or above FL290 only if the pilot of the aircraft is given clearance for the flight by ATC;
  • The flight plan for the operation must include the following details at item 18 of the plan: RMK/NIL ADSB AUTH.

Note: This authorisation instrument does not mean that appropriate ATC clearance at or above FL290 in SSR surveillance airspace is automatic or guaranteed. ATC makes clearance decisions subject to prevailing air traffic and operational conditions at the time of the flight. A foreign registered aircraft that is not carrying ADS-B transmitting equipment, and that does not have ATC clearance, must remain below FL290 in Continental Airspace. It is essential, therefore, that operators flight plan for the operation in accordance with this authorisation instrument.

We continue to encourage operators to equip with ADS-B Out sooner rather than later even if exemptions do exist. Given the significant volume of aircraft remaining to equip, those who wait may face longer lines and more expensive upgrades due to the higher demand.  Operators who equip now also help ensure they can continue to travel where they want, when they want without operational constraints. Also remember to consider what all areas you will be flying in. If you plan to fly in the United States or Europe, you’ll need DO-260B, the latest ADS-B Out standard.

Still have questions or want to learn more?

CASA 113/16:  https://www.casa.gov.au/files/casa16113pdf

CASA 114/16: https://www.casa.gov.au/files/casa16114pdf

AirServices Australia: http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/projects/ads-b/other-mandates-2014-2017/

Rockwell Collins ADS-B Out Products & Aircraft Certification Options: http://www.rockwellcollins.com/ads-b

 

Read more about author Rob Myhlhousen.

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