ATM Modernization

Lufthansa Technik Gets STC for A320 ADS-B

By S.L. Fuller | December 4, 2017
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Lufthansa Technik has received a supplemental type certificate for ADS-B transponders on the Airbus A320 family. The company said this is within the framework of FAA and EASA mandates.

“We can now offer our customers the appropriate ADS-B modifications with original manufacturer components and regulatory approval,” said Thomas Rueckert, VP of base maintenance services at Lufthansa Technik.

The company said it can now equip aircraft with the new transponders that can fulfill the DO-260 B RTCA standard. The new technology, Lufthansa Technik said, would improve the localization of aircraft. In the course of modification, it may also be necessary to replace the GPS signal source, the company said.

Lufthansa Technik said it is also looking to obtain more ADS-B certifications for other aircraft. This includes Airbus A330/340, the Boeing 747 and 777 and McDonnell Douglas MD11.

“The significant global demand for ADS-B modifications is already resulting in capacity problems at many overhaul facilities. Lufthansa Technik is therefore offering options for the performance of this modification, including mobile installation teams that can work anywhere around the world,” the company said. “The modification can be carried out over three independent night stops, which avoids long ground times and high costs.”

Airlines have been granted an “exemption” from the FAA’s 2020 ADS-B mandate. But the agency explained last month during Avionics for NextGen that some may be misinterpreting what exactly it covers.

It may seem like the FAA’s exemption (Exemption 12555) gives airlines an extra five years to equip with ADS-B Out. That, however, is not the case.

“All the exemption does is buy you five more years to replace those old positioning sources with one of the new positioning sources,” said James Marks, ADS-B focus team lead for the FAA. “You still have to have an ADS-B Out system come 2020.”

If the exemption is granted by the FAA, the operator may use first- and second-generation GPS receivers, considered as selective availability (SA) unaware/on and SA aware, until 2025.

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