Sept. 30, 2013

Operators flying in Australia may be able to take advantage of an exemption that would allow a two-year period of temporary relief from the ADS-B mandate set to take effect Dec. 12, 2013. On that date, all flights operating at FL290 and above will be required to be ADS-B equipped as part of an effort to help air traffic management cope with increasing air traffic in the upper altitudes.

However, due to concerns from several aircraft manufacturers over delays in providing factory supported supplemental type certificates (STCs) for the equipment, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is prepared to allow certain operators within defined airspace the ability to request a temporary exemption.

While ADS-B is the primary surveillance system for operations over the Australian continent, secondary surveillance radar will remain the primary system used by controllers for a period of time. As such, the exemption would apply only to controlled terminal areas and the narrow J-curved airspace overlying the east and southeast coasts from north of Cairns to west of Adelaide.

The exemption period would last until December 2015, at which time all operators would be required to be ADS-B compliant. The proposal, which underwent a comment period and is now being reviewed for potential changes, outlines various requirements operators must follow in order to be eligible: Operators must submit a written request for the exemption no less than 14 days prior to the intended operation and include a clear implementation plan with target dates for installation of ADS-B equipment.

If adopted, CASA’s Flight Standards Branch says the temporary exemption will be implemented prior to Nov. 14, 2013, in time to allow operators to meet the 14-day advance requirement before the ADS-B mandate goes into effect.

View CASA’s proposed exemption and the proposed exemption and the legislative basis for exemption approval.