Australian ADS-B Mandates Stir Up GA Objections


Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has announced it’s extending its deadline for Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast installations in private aircraft, but GA advocates say the move won’t do much to offer regulatory relief for aircraft owners. CASA recently announced the deadline, a requirement for satellite-based separation of IFR flights, will be delayed from Feb. 2, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2020. The authority says it will help owners more easily comply, and “aircraft can be fitted with the equipment in an orderly manner — reducing the burden on owners, operators and avionics suppliers.” Australia’s biggest GA group, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, had pushed for moving the deadline to 2020, which would match the FAA’s deadline for aircraft in the U.S., as reported Thursday by The Australian. Air carriers and charter operators will still be required to complete ADS-B upgrades by February 2017.

However, CASA also imposed limitations on private aircraft that do not have ADS-B equipment by the 2017 deadline, requiring that they fly below 10,000 feet in class G airspace and obtain ATC clearances for flying in most controlled airspace, including GA class D airports. AOPA’s executive director, Ben Morgan, told The Australian the revised measure is “unworkable” and CASA should meet immediately with the GA industry to work out something better. “The restrictions mean that the extension will only apply to a very, very limited number of pilots,” Morgan said. “ADS-B doesn’t service below 10,000 feet so what’s the point? We want all airspace limitations removed.” CASA responded in the report that AOPA and other GA stakeholders worked with the authority over nearly a decade on the ADS-B issue and “it was agreed by aviation industry representatives, including AOPA, that ADS-B would be phased in over a three-year period commencing in December 2013.”