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ADS-B relief for private aircraft operations

Date of publication: 
23 November 2016

Changes have been made to the requirements for fitting and using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast equipment (ADS-B) in private aircraft.

ADS-B is a system that automatically broadcasts the precise location and altitude of aircraft using satellite technology and ground stations and can be used instead of radar.

Private aircraft flying under the instrument flight rules (IFR) will now have longer to fit ADS-B equipment.

The deadline for fitment has been extended from 02 February 2017 to 1 January 2020, which aligns with the ADS-B deadline in the USA.

However, those private aircraft operating IFR without ADS-B can only do so below 10,000 feet in uncontrolled Class G airspace and when transitioning from Class C and E controlled airspace into Class D to land at an aerodrome with prior clearance from air traffic control.

The changes only affect private aircraft manufactured before 6 February 2014 operating under IFR.  Aircraft built from the 6 February 2014 onwards are required to be equipped with ADS-B at manufacture.

The new ADS-B deadline for private operations will mean the remaining aircraft can be fitted with the equipment in an orderly manner - reducing the burden on owners, operators and avionics suppliers

All Australian regular public transport, charter and aerial work aircraft must be fitted with ADS-B equipment by 2 February 2017.

To date 88 per cent of IFR flights have been fitted with ADS-B and this is anticipated to increase to 95 per cent by 2 February 2017.

Aircraft flying under the visual flight rules are not required to fit ADS-B equipment.

CASA’s acting Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the changes to ADS-B requirements will benefit a small number of private aircraft operators who have not yet been able to fit the equipment.

“CASA continues to strongly encourage all aircraft owners and operators to fit ADS-B equipment due to the many safety benefits this technology provides,” Mr Carmody said.

“ADS-B provides better air traffic information outside controlled airspace, greater ability to avoid bad weather, more accurate and faster search and rescue and more direct flight paths.

“I am very pleased that the vast majority of IFR aircraft have been fitted with ADS-B.

“Safety will not be compromised due to the range of conditions that will apply to the non-ADS-B flights.”

CASA is also making a provision for a very small number of foreign registered aircraft to continue operating without ADS-B until 6 June 2020, subject to air traffic control clearances and flying under 29,000 feet in continental airspace.

The changes to the ADS-B deadlines are being made through two legislative instruments.

Media contact:
Peter Gibson
0419 296 446