Australia’s latest Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) Out airspace equipage mandate takes effect next week. Here’s what aircraft operators flying in Australian airspace need to know about the equipage requirements and recent changes to the mandate made by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
A Cathay Pacific Cargo Boeing 747-8 freighter departs from Melbourne Airport. Photo: Airservices Australia.
On Feb. 2, all aircraft operating in Australia under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) are required to be equipped with 1090 MHz extended squitter ADS-B transponders. The mandate applies to aircraft that were first registered in Australia prior to Feb. 6, 2014.
A major difference between Australia and the U.S. National Airspace System’s ADS-B mandate taking effect Jan. 1, 2020, is that CASA permits aircraft operating under IFR to be equipped with ADS-B Out equipment certified to the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) DO-260, DO-260A or DO-260B standard. Airservices Australia also permits Selective Availability (SA) On GPS position sources and enacted a forward-fit mandate on SA Aware in 2016.
In November 2016, CASA also announced a new provision to the Feb. 2 mandate
. That provision is specifically aimed at privately operated aircraft, or aircraft weighing below 12,500 pounds. Private aircraft flying IFR procedures in Australian airspace have received an extension to Jan. 1, 2020, to allow more time for upgrades. Australian registered commercial transport; charter and “aerial work” aircraft are still required to be equipped with ADS-B by the Feb. 2 deadline.
Under the extension, private aircraft flying IFR are subject to special conditions in Class C, D, E and G airspace:
• Class C and E: Only allowed to facilitate arrival or departure from a Class D airport, with prior clearance from Air Traffic Control (ATC) and only when equipped with a secondary surveillance radar transponder
• Class D: Subject to ATC clearance
• Class G: Must operate below 10,000 feet in uncontrolled Class G airspace
According to CASA, the two authorization instruments that take effect include CASA 114/16
for Australian registered aircraft and CASA 113/16
for foreign registered aircraft. Operators of non-equipped IFR aircraft using one of these two instruments are required to choose between equipping with ADS-B avionics, flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and retiring unequipped aircraft by the exportation of the temporary authorization instrument.
Australia currently features 29 duplicated ADS-B ground stations with coverage above FL250, and CASA shares ADS-B data with Indonesia to improve efficiency and safety at the Flight Information Region (FIR) boundary.
CASA also created a special ADS-B booklet in 2016 to provide answers to all ADS-B questions operators may have. That document can be accessed here.