Avionics Update: Eurocontrol delays upgraded mode-S implementation

 - May 9, 2008, 5:53 AM

Eurocontrol has decided to delay by two years the deadline for operators to install upgraded mode-S equipment to meet the agency’s so-called elementary surveillance requirements in Europe. “It has become apparent that aircraft operators, airframe manufacturers and avionics manufacturers need more time, both to upgrade mode-S transponders to the appropriate ICAO and industry standards and to install the aircraft identification reporting feature,” a Eurocontrol spokesman said. Accordingly, the deadline for retrofitting upgraded mode-S equipment for in-service aircraft has been extended from March 31 next year to March 31, 2005 (and March 31, 2008, for VFR aircraft with standard mode-S or -C). Meanwhile, manufacturers of new aircraft must start installing the equipment after March 31, 2004. Among the required upgrades to mode-S is an enhancement that enables the equipment to meet Eurocontrol’s elementary surveillance requirements by providing automatic downlink capability of unique aircraft ID numbers, similar to squawk codes, assigned by ATC as part of an IFR clearance. Elementary surveillance requirements also include transponder-reporting capability, altitude reporting in 25-ft increments and flight-status information.