A June 11 Congressional House hearing on the FAA’s “2020 NextGen Mandate: Benefits and Challenges for General Aviation” reviewed the agency’s requirement that all U.S. civil aircraft carry ADS-B out units by Jan. 1, 2020, along with the vexing–to the FAA, at least–issue that aircraft owners are not rushing out to install them.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
Testifying yesterday before the Senate subcommittee on aviation on the status of NextGen ATC implementation, FAA deputy administrator Michael Whitaker told lawmakers that “both the FAA and industry must be held accountable if NextGen is to succeed.”
India has completed its ground network for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) tracking of aircraft, according to supplier Comsoft. The German company announced on June 12 that it has finished installing seven new ADS-B ground stations under a second phase of the deployment, which India has integrated into its ATC system.
FreeFlight Systems CEO Tim Taylor debunked the “myth” that aircraft operators delaying installation of ADS-B avionics would be able to purchase lower-cost units with more features later on. Testifying yesterday afternoon on behalf of GAMA at a U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee hearing about NextGen 2020 equipment mandates for general aviation, Taylor noted that the FAA set the ADS-B standards way in advance and that the functionality of an ADS-B unit bought today will be the same as that of an ADS-B unit bought on Jan.
A curious conundrum is causing confusion for international business jet operators flying to countries where ADS-B out equipment and capability is mandatory. While there is no requirement in the U.S. and Europe for operators to have a letter of authorization (LOA) for using ADS-B out equipment, some Asia-Pacific countries are requiring that operators carry an LOA with their aircraft’s paperwork when operating in airspace where ADS-B out is required. The problem is that asking FAA inspectors to add yet another LOA package to their overburdened workflows further delays issuance.
By now, all corporate and most general aviation aircraft owners are aware that by Jan. 1, 2020, their aircraft must carry an approved installation of an ADS-B out transmitter and an appropriate Waas receiver. And also by now, owners will probably have read accounts, or have been advised by their avionics suppliers and installers, that even with five-and-a-half years to go, booking installation dates to meet the deadline is getting tight.
Universal Avionics (Booth 6555) announced that Clay Lacy Aviation is primed to offer an STC for installation of the UniLink UL-801 Communications Management Unit (CMU) to provide Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A+ capabilities for the Gulfstream GIV and GIV-SP.
Installation in the initial certification aircraft began in January, with STC approval expected by the third quarter this year. An amendment to the STC for the GV will immediately follow initial certification, along with application for EASA certification.
The U.S. Navy has not determined how to fit a “due regard” radar on its unmanned MQ-4C Triton, which will likely start initial operations in 2017 without the subsystem intended to help protect it from midair collisions. But the Triton will enter service with more capability than any other unmanned aircraft to “detect and avoid” other aircraft, the Navy’s program manager asserts.
The FAA announced on Tuesday that the ADS-B network in the U.S. has been completed, with all 634 ground stations now online. “This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides air traffic controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced the completion of the ground-radio infrastructure for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), the surveillance piece of its NextGen ATC modernization effort. Of 230 ATC facilities nationwide, 100 already track aircraft by ADS-B, the agency said in an April 14 announcement.