Australia Postpones Universal ADS-B


As the U.S. eyes Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) as an important tool in the modernization of the National Airspace System, Australia is backing off on its ambitious deployment program. Airservices Australia has cancelled a request for proposals (RPF) to equip 1,500 GA aircraft with the necessary gear to perform a real-life test of the system. The company says the plan was premature. “Airservices’ own consultation process has led the organisation to conclude that some elements of the aviation industry and government need more time to consider the costs, timeframe and implementation issues associated with the introduction of ADS-B technology in lieu of en route radars,” CEO Greg Russell is quoted by Flight International as saying in a letter to staff. ADS-B provides in-cockpit separation information but the catch is that only aircraft equipped with the gear show up on the displays in other aircraft. It seems like money was one of the issues in cancellation of the program because of the level of subsidy that would be required to equip the 1,500 planes. Airservices Australia is going ahead with mandatory ADS-B above 30,000 feet and is also ordering new radars for its ground-based navigation system.