Europe To Mandate ADS-B Five Years Ahead of FAA

 - February 5, 2009, 11:17 AM

Europe’s regulatory body, the European Commission, has issued a Eurocontrol notice of proposed rulemaking (ENPRM) mandating ADS-B after Feb. 5, 2015. At that time, all aircraft operating in European airspace must transmit ADS-B Out signals and meet Eurocontrol’s enhanced mode-S surveillance standards. Currently in the public comment stage until April 8, the final rule is expected in late 2010. While broadly similar to the earlier FAA NPRM, there are several differences. Neither WAAS nor Europe’s equivalent EGNOS is required; less demanding GPS performance criteria are specified; ADS-B Out is clearly described as an interim stepping stone to ADS-B In; and aircraft with an mtow of less than 12,500 pounds and with a cruise speed of less than 250 knots are exempt. But user community rejection of the NPRM, as happened with the FAA, is unlikely, since the document has been developed from the outset with extensive user and service provider participation. Earlier this week, the FAA issued an updated NextGen implementation plan that includes a goal of full ADS-B ground station coverage in the U.S. by 2013, though the agency isn’t targeting mandated aircraft equipage until 2020 at the earliest.