FAA Moves To End Mode-S Exemptions
The FAA has withdrawn its decade-old proposal to rescind its requirement for Mode-S transponders and, consequently, plans to end the hundreds of Mode-S installation exemptions currently in effect. Beginning March 1, 2007, the FAA has proposed that it will no longer allow exempted Part 121 and 135 operators to fly without a Mode-S transponder. No new exemptions would be granted after that date, though Mode-A or -C transponders could continue to be used until they can no longer be repaired, after which they would have to be replaced with a permanent Mode-S unit. When the FAA in 1996 proposed to rescind the mandate to install Mode-S transponders (except on aircraft equipped with TCAS II), the agency was inundated with requests for exemptions, as operators anticipated the Mode-S requirement would be withdrawn. Comments on the proposal are due November 7. For more information, contact the FAA at (202) 267-9677.