Worth the Wait — FAA’s New EFVS Rule FAR 91.176

The FAA has released the long-awaited Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) rule FAR 91.176 that will bring numerous benefits to aviation. More specifically, the rule will expand applicability of EFVS for business aircraft owners and operators and introduce, for the first time, similar benefits to the air transport industry.  Up until now, other than by exemption, the air transport sector has not been able to participate in the operational benefits EFVS affords. This has all changed.

The new rule is lengthy, so let’s  highlight some of the impacts of the rule change.

Main benefits to FAA’s new EFVS rule:

  • Enhances low-visibility flight and ground operations
  • Increases access, efficiency and throughput at many airports when low visibility is a factor
  • Reduces infrastructure necessary to support low visibility operations
  • Provides a real-time display of the outside world in low-visibility conditions using imaging sensors
  • Enables descent below Decision Altitude/Decision Height (DA/DH) or Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) in low visibilities on a greater number of approach procedure types (precision, approach procedure with vertical guidance (APV) and non-precision)

The comprehensive re-structuring and implementation of FAR 91.176 impacts numerous rules and guidance documents that provide a better cross reference. These cross reference materials make the review and learning of this material much easier than in the past. (The complete rule can be found on the Federal Register.)

The FAA 91.176 rule summary:

Establishes new landing minima

  • Permits operators to use an EFVS to touchdown and rollout 91.176(a)
  • Relocates EFVS to 100’ operations to 91.176(b)

Permits operators who conduct EFVS operations under parts 121, 125 or 135 to use EFVS-equipped aircraft

  • Dispatch/release under IFR
  • Allow those operators to initiate and continue an approach when destination weather is at or below authorized visibility minimums on the Instrument Approach Plate (IAP)

Establishes pilot training and recent flight experience requirements for EFVS operators

  • The pilot flight crew member or any other person who manipulates the controls of an aircraft during EFVS operation meets the training, recent flight experience and refresher training requirements in FAR 61.66 is applicable to EFVS operations
  • Provides EFVS training requirements for Part 121 and Part 135 operators   

Revises pilot compartment view certification requirements for vision systems

  • New airworthiness standards for certification of vision systems removes ‘special conditions’ that were required to certify vision systems which will speed up the certification process
  • The FAA issued Advisory Circular 90-106A, Enhanced Flight Vision Systems and Advisory Circular 20-167A, Airworthiness Approval of Enhanced Vision System, Synthetic Vision System, Combined Vision System and Enhanced Flight Vision System Equipment.  This updates these documents to support the newly released regulations

The FAA established that these rules would be performance-based and not linked to specific sensor technology. This provides a means to allow for sensor development as new sensor capabilities emerge. The applicant will demonstrate sensor performance during the EFVS certification process. With this, the FAA will manage EFVS operational minimums and approval through its authorization process. This affords a more streamlined means to respond to new technology developments.  As one reads through this material, it is apparent the FAA sets standards that will carry this technology and its operations well into the future.

Presently, EFVS is required to be displayed on a conformal, flight-path-based Head-Up Display (HUD), which displays selectable flight path angle as well as lateral and vertical approach path deviation and command guidance as appropriate for the type of approach being flown. The FAA has provided a means for the development of new display types and sensor capabilities but they will need to be vetted through a certification process similar to the current HUD-based EFVS and meet the same safety and performance standards.

This approach to implementing the new EFVS rules will guide a global process to visual-equivalent operations and provide a means to standardize international-based operations and regulatory process. The application of this comprehensive approach to implementing EFVS will secure safety, airfield throughput and airline operational benefits in all takeoff and approach operations. The FAA’s consistent implementation of these changes supports the design concept implemented decades ago of placing more capability on the airplane rather than build additional ground infrastructure.

Stay tuned as this new rulemaking progresses and operators are approved for its use.  This rulemaking could be a real game changer.

Read more about author Dean Schwab.


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.

ADS-B Out upgrades: Think beyond the mandate

Like thousands of other operators, you are probably looking at ADS-B Out upgrade options for your aircraft.  With ADS-B Out mandates just three short years away, the clock is ticking to get your aircraft compliant.  While you need to get moving to meet the mandate, don’t rush so fast that you’ll overlook some important details.  Here are a couple things to think about when picking out the right solution for your aircraft.

What additional capabilities can my ADS-B Out equipment bring?  

Over the past few years we’ve seen regulatory agencies transitioning to more GPS-based procedures.  The United States has implemented more than 3,700 LPV approaches and is limiting investments in or decommissioning aging ground-based navigation systems like ILS and VOR.  The equipment required to navigate in the airspace is changing so keeping your aircraft up-to-date will help to maximize efficiency and airspace access.

What does all of this have to do with ADS-B Out?  

In the United States, you’ll need a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) GPS position source to meet ADS-B Out position requirements.  SBAS receivers utilize additional satellite broadcasts to provide higher accuracy position data to the end user. You may have heard of WAAS, EGNOS, GAGAN and MSAS.  These are SBAS systems developed for the United States, Europe, India and Japan.

When selecting your ADS-B Out upgrade, consider how the SBAS GPS unit will be utilized on your aircraft.  If it’s a standalone solution that doesn’t integrate with your Flight Management System (FMS), you won’t be able to take advantage of additional capabilities like LPV approaches or RNP that provide additional efficiencies in the airspace and are on most airspace modernization roadmaps.  In most cases you may need to upgrade your FMS to realize these capabilities but that upgrade can be made in parallel with your ADS-B Out upgrade or it can be accomplished later.  Be sure to consider what few incremental benefits and additional future upgrade costs bolt-on solutions will provide outside of just meeting ADS-B Out requirements.

How will my aircraft be supported after the upgrade?

While important to everyone, this is especially important for customers with newer aircraft with integrated avionics systems (i.e., Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4, Pro Line 21 and Pro Line Fusion®).  While we all hope you don’t have technical issues with your aircraft, we know problems can come up.  Maintaining your integrated cockpit is going to help ensure your avionics OEM will be able to support you in those times of need.  Adding new suppliers’ products into the mix of your current avionics system can be risky.  If your current avionics supplier isn’t involved with or hasn’t at least tested another supplier’s products, they are not going to be able to ensure long-term compatibility nor can they easily support your broader avionics system if issues do come up.

Some of our OEMs are also incorporating ADS-B into broader upgrade packages for your Pro Line avionics system.  These packages bring ADS-B Out upgrades along with additional capabilities such as display capability upgrades, navigation capability enhancements and other options.  Future avionics upgrades provided through the OEM may be predicated on having these packages installed.  We highly suggest contacting your OEM to discuss ADS-B upgrade options available for your aircraft and requirements for future upgrades.

Want to learn more?  Visit www.rockwellcollins.com/ads-b
Have ADS-B questions?  Email us at ads-b@rockwellcollins.com

Read more about author Rob Myhlhousen.

A big step toward NextGen: DCL in the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun the deployment of its Data Link Departure Clearance (DCL). This service will be available at 56 major airports in the U.S. by the end of 2016. This is the first step towards nationwide enroute CPDLC coverage. DCL enables your departure clearance to be delivered and responded to via FANS CPDLC. Potential revisions will be delivered via CPDLC, all clearances will be in a loadable route format.

Whew! Now that we’ve gotten the technical description out there let’s talk about what this really means for operators and why operators may want to take advantage of it.

  • The Data Link Departure Clearance Service (DCL) provides automated assistance for delivering initial, and revised departure clearances.
  • DCL does not replace Pre Departure Clearances, but is the next step in the evolution of data link.
  • The service provides the ability to introduce revisions to a previously cleared flight plan, which can be received at any time until the aircraft is handed off to the tower for takeoff.
  • In the not too distant future, logging on to receive your DCL clearance will seamlessly transfer you to enroute CPDLC after takeoff.
  • ARINCDirect has administrative access to the FAA’s Subscriber Database and manage our operators DCL and PDC preferences.

If you need more information about how DCL can work for you, contact our training team for more information: ADTraining@arinc.com.

Read more about author Christian Renneissen.