There are just four months to go to ensure all aircraft operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) are fitted with ADS-B transmitting equipment by the 2 February 2017 mandate.
Automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, or ADS-B, takes advantage of the significant satellite coverage in Australian airspace to enable wide-ranging and accurate surveillance in the sky between aircraft, and from aircraft to air traffic control.
CASA air traffic management standards manager, Roy Tuomela, says that while the uptake in fitment to meet the mandate is now extremely high – at 85 per cent of all flights – it’s important nobody falls through the cracks.
‘ADS-B has been introduced gradually since 2007 and helps provide surveillance coverage across Australia where there is no radar. Pilots get the benefit of better separation and direct tracking in controlled airspace and the benefits of safety alerts, emergency assistance and weather diversions everywhere when fitted.
‘Under normal circumstances, Australian aircraft not fitted with ADS-B by 2 February 2017 will no longer be able to fly under instrument flight rules,’ Tuomela says.
In many cases, getting ADS-B fitted is a very simple process.
‘Anyone who currently flies IFR and needs to upgrade to ADS-B is usually pretty close to meeting the system requirements,’ avionics engineer Darren Brook says.
‘It’s not a huge deal to exchange their unit, and quite often this can be completed in a day.
‘Even with more complex cases, where a transponder and GPS are also required to enable ADS-B capability, the fitment can usually be completed in three days.’
Brook says his business has seen significant growth in demand for ADS-B fitment in recent months as the 2 February mandate approaches.
‘We’ve been constantly doing this now since about 18 months ago. We are still fitting a transponder once every two weeks.’
To enquire about fitment, pilots and operators of IFR aircraft should contact their avionics engineer as soon as possible to discuss their requirements.