Cessna preparing ACAS and Mode-S service bulletins

 - March 16, 2007, 2:40 PM

Citation operators this summer can expect to receive Service Bulletins to address European TCAS/ ACAS and upgraded mode-S transponder requirements going into effect early next year.

Starting next January 1, turbine airplanes with an mtow exceeding 12,500 pounds or having between 19 and 30 passenger seats must have traffic alert collision avoidance systems installed, specifically ACAS II (TCAS II with Change 7). About three months later, on March 31, next year, upgraded mode-S elementary surveillance transponders which contain an aircraft registration ID number downlink, will be required on all turbine airplanes–regardless of weight–for operations in European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) airspace. These requirements apply in this airspace regardless of the country of aircraft registration.

The Service Bulletins will feature turnkey installations, including all necessary components, wiring and hardware, said Cessna, adding that “international regulatory approval is typically much quicker for Service Bulletin certification than supplemental type certification.”

Specifically, there will be SBs for all models, from the CitationJet 525 through the Citation X, excluding the 500 and 650 models. These models “will be supported by Citation service center STC installations.” Two Service Bulletins will be offered to update the 525CJ, CJ1 and CJ2. One SB calls for the installation of a new transponder or upgrade of the existing MST-67A transponder to elementary service capability. The other covers a complete replacement of the CNI5000 radio package with a Garmin 530 package (radios, transponders with elementary surveillance and GPS). Because these aircraft weigh less than 12,500 pounds, ACAS II is not required.

Installation of a new ACAS II system with mode-S elementary surveillance capability will be required for the Citation V and Ultra. Installation of a new system or upgrade of the existing ACAS to ACAS II capability with mode-S elementary surveillance will be covered in the SB for the Citation Bravo.

One SB will be issued for the Citation Encore, Excel and Citation X requiring an upgrade to the existing Primus II radio block to include elementary surveillance. Service Bulletins already exist for TCAS II-equipped aircraft to upgrade to Change 7.
Cessna RVSM Service Bulletin compliance is a prerequisite for the ACAS and mode-S bulletins. Pricing for the new SBs will likely be available in the spring, Cessna said.