Updated Aug. 26, 2019
Everyone knows about the FAA’s ADS-B Out deadline, but some other countries have more extensive avionics mandates.
Operators across the United States are familiar with the push to equip with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast out (ADS-B Out) capabilities for all aircraft operating within the U.S. by Jan. 1, 2020. However, many other parts of the world have similar – and, in some cases, more extensive – mandates that are scheduled to take effect in the near future.
In many cases, these mandates not only require ADS-B-capable transponders, but also flight management systems (FMS) capable of supporting text-based controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC) between ATC and aircraft. Such equipment is not presently required by the FAA.
“U.S.-based operators flying internationally face a slew of requirements that in many examples differ greatly from FAA mandates,” said NBAA Vice President of International and Regulatory Affairs Doug Carr. “In many cases, the operator will need more capable equipment to fulfill these mandates.”
For example, while Canada hasn’t yet declared a formal mandate for ADS-B equipage, the country has deployed these and other performance-based navigation (PBN) technologies along certain routes, with emphasis on regions with intermittent radar and voice communications coverage.
The situation is somewhat reversed to the south, with Mexico requiring aircraft operating in most controlled airspace above 10,000 feet MSL to be equipped with ADS-B Out effective Jan. 1, 2020, in line with the U.S. mandate.
NAT, European and Asian Requirements
Operators flying overseas have also seen mandated equipment rollouts, with one prominent example being the North Atlantic Datalink Mandate (NAT DLM), which requires aircraft be fitted with CPDLC and automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) capabilities to fly certain preferred routes across the North Atlantic. Collectively, these capabilities are known as the Future Air Navigation System standard (FANS 1/A).
Phases 2A and 2B of the FANS 1/A program are already in effect, requiring all aircraft operating on or along two specified tracks of the NAT Organized Track System (NAT OTS) between FL350 to FL390 inclusive to be properly equipped. As of Jan. 30, 2020, Phase 2C requires FANS 1/A equipage for all aircraft operating at FL290 and above throughout the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) NAT Region.
ADS-B is already mandated throughout Europe for all aircraft with certificates of airworthiness issued on or after Jan. 8, 2015. As of June 7, 2020, ADS-B will also be required for older aircraft with maximum takeoff weights of 5,700 kilograms (12,566 pounds) or greater, and/or a maximum cruising true airspeed greater than 250 knots, in order to fly IFR across the continent.
Data link capability has been another key driver for equipage mandates across Europe under the Data Link Services Mandate (formerly known as Link 2000+). This requires enroute CPDLC capabilities above FL285 in order to decrease radio frequency congestion.
“ADS-B seems to be the top priority in both North America and Europe, with data link a close second,” said Carey Miller, senior technical sales manager for Honeywell GoDirect. “While some areas may require just ADS-B capabilities for now, equipping with both ADS-B and CPDLC at once saves operators time and cost, versus a piecemeal approach.”
Larger aircraft are also required to be equipped with traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS II) version 7.1, which offers revised voice directives and improves resolution advisory (RA) logic. In early 2018, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published a notice of proposed amendment (NPA) calling for a series of improvements to flight data recorders (FDRs), including more robust backup power supplies and reduced premature recording cutoffs due to forces of negative acceleration.
Equipage mandates are also sweeping across the Asia-Pacific, with the Airports Authority of India announcing that aircraft flying certain PBN routes at or above FL290 across much of the country’s airspace must be equipped with ADS-B as of Jan. 1, 2019. ADS-B Out is also required to operate in the upper flight levels across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.
China is also working toward ADS-B deployment across the country, with discussions underway about deploying CPDLC capabilities as well. Authorities have also called for commercial aircraft operating in China to be equipped with head-up displays (HUD), with a phased rollout now underway designed to achieve a 100-percent equipage rate in 2025. It’s possible these requirements will ultimately filter down to intercontinental business aircraft as well.
Equipage Offers Added Benefits
While certain equipage deadlines may be revised, operators shouldn’t expect significant changes.
“Some operators may assume these international mandates will be pushed back, but we’re not seeing evidence to support that on a widespread level,” said Jim Johnson, senior manager for flight technical services at Honeywell Aerospace. “The overwhelming message is to equip now.”
In addition to ensuring that operators may continue operating internationally, compliance with these mandates offers added benefits when traveling across the U.S.
“Many U.S. airports now offer CPDLC departure clearance capabilities, allowing flight crews to simply log on and receive a text-based IFR clearance in as little as 15 seconds,” noted Miller. “Testing of domestic enroute data link messaging is also underway.”
Operators should also consider not only equipping to meet requirements in the areas they most frequently travel, but also with an eye toward future mandates.
“A bolt-on ADS-B solution doesn’t help with data link, PBN and FANS, and older flight management systems are limited in which add-on functionality they can support,” Miller said. “It really does pay to replace older equipment to take advantage of these emerging technologies.”
Review NBAA’s international resources at nbaa.org/intl.
NextGen Requirements Around the Globe
The following is a snapshot of upcoming ADS-B and other equipage mandates around the globe. Operators should consult with their avionics supplier for more detailed information and available solutions to meet these requirements.
- ADS-B required for operating at or above FL290.
- Exemptions permitting non-ADS-B-equipped aircraft to operate below FL290 will expire in late 2019.
- There is no formal requirement yet for ADS-B in Canada, but the country’s civil air navigation service (NAV CANADA) has called for mandatory ADS-B equipage by 2023.
- Canada’s satellite-based solution is not compatible with ground-based ADS-B stations used in the United States. Without a resolution, flights between the two countries would require top- and bottom-mounted antennas to receive ADS-B data from both satellites and ground stations.
- ADS-B is mandated for all aircraft with certificates of airworthiness issued on or after Jan. 8, 2015.
- Older aircraft with a max takeoff weight of 5,700 kg or more, or a maximum cruising speed of greater than 250 KTAS, require ADS-B equipment as of June 7, 2020 to fly IFR.
- These aircraft must also be equipped with TCAS II version 7.1.
- The data link services rule goes into effect June 7, 2020, but there are exemptions for a large number of older business aircraft.
- ADS-B is required for all operations at or above FL290 on certain airways.
- Aircraft flying at or above FL290 along certain PBN routes must be equipped with serviceable 1090 MHz ES ADS-B transmitting equipment effective Jan. 1, 2019.
- Aircraft not equipped with ADS-B may fly these routes below FL290.
As of Jan. 1, 2020, unless otherwise authorized by ATC, aircraft not equipped with ADS-B may not fly in the following areas:
- Class A, B and C airspace.
- Within 30 nautical miles of Mexico City International Airport (MMMX) from the surface up to 10,000 ft MSL.
- Over Class B and C airspace within the lateral boundaries of the airspace up to 10,000 feet MSL.
- Within Class E airspace over Mexican territory at or above, 10,000 feet MSL, except when below 2,500 feet AGL.
- Starting in January 2020, Mexico may require TCAS II version 7.1 for all aircraft weighing more than 5,700 kg.
- As of Jan. 30, 2020, Phase 2C of the NAT DLM requires FANS 1/A equipage for all aircraft operating at FL290 and above throughout the ICAO NAT Region, except for airspace with radar or ADS-B coverage.