Historic day in aviation safety: new era begins
The final fitment mandate for Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology comes into effect today for all instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft flying in Australia, bringing with it a new era in air traffic surveillance.
ADS-B is a satellite-based technology that allows pilots to read the location of other aircraft and gives air traffic controllers a much more accurate picture of Australia's skies, particularly in areas of no radar coverage.
CASA's acting Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, says that satellite technology is necessary to keep Australian aviation at the forefront of safety.
'Before ADS-B, Australia's electronic airspace surveillance coverage was patchy by international standards, with only around 18 per cent of the continent covered by radar,' Mr Carmody said.
'In Australia, we have been progressively introducing the technology since 2004 as we had an immediate need for air traffic surveillance that could not be easily achieved with traditional radars.
'Today marks an important and historic day in aviation safety and heralds a new era in technology. Today's final fitment mandate will require most aircraft to be fitted with the satellite-based equipment to continue to fly at all levels and in low visibility.'
ADS-B works using a combination of satellite navigation data aircraft instruments and a radio relay network that allows every aircraft to broadcast its identity, altitude, speed and direction, twice every second.
The mandate is the result of many years work by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Airservices Australia, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and aircraft operators, introducing immediate benefits for pilots including more efficient air traffic processes from take-off to landing, and improved emergency assistance.
The first ADS-B mandate came into effect in 2013. The result was that days out from the mandate, 93 per cent of all flights in Australian airspace flying under instrument flight rules are conducted in aircraft fitted with the technology.
Two authorisation instruments also take effect from today (2 February 2017) which allow some private operations by non-equipped Australian registered aircraft and flights by non-equipped foreign registered aircraft under specific conditions.