Surveillance network and equipment

Australia uses various technologies to provide the surveillance component of our communication navigation and surveillance (CNS) and air traffic management (ATM) network.

  • Primary surveillance radars are at many controlled aerodromes including joint-user civil/military aerodromes.
  • Secondary surveillance radar (SSR) are co-installed with primary radars, as well as many stand-alone installations around the country.
  • Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receiver stations, are an extensive network installed around Australian and some offshore locations.
  • Multilateration are a combined SSR and ADS-B surveillance system installed in Tasmania and in the Sydney basin.
  • The aerodrome ground surveillance system (AGSS) is an airport surface surveillance system installed at Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney aerodromes.

Contact us for CNS/ATM queries.

Required aircraft surveillance equipment

To enable aircraft to be reliably detected by the surveillance network and to enable correct functioning of aircraft collision avoidance systems, there are specific requirements for aircraft equipment.

See detailed requirements in Chapter 26.16 of the Part 91 Manual of Standards (General Operating and Flight Rules).

The table below summarises the aircraft surveillance requirements.

Operation

Class of airspace

Required capability

IFR

Any (Classes A, B, C, D, E and G)

ADS-B OUT equipment specified for IFR aircraft (IFR ADS-B OUT)

VFR

Class A – FL 290 and above

IFR ADS-B OUT

IFR or VFR operation at:

  1. Brisbane
  2. Melbourne
  3. Sydney
  4. Perth.

Class B or C – at certain aerodromes

  1. IFR ADS-B OUT or
  2. Mode S transponder.

VFR

Class A (below FL 290), B, or C

  1. IFR ADS-B OUT or
  2. Mode S transponder or
  3. Mode A/C transponder.

VFR*

Class E

  1. IFR ADS-B OUT or
  2. Mode S transponder or
  3. Mode A/C transponder or
  4. Integrated traffic awareness beacon system (TABS) device.

VFR*

Class G — 10 000 ft and above

  1. IFR ADS-B OUT or
  2. Mode S transponder or
  3. Mode A/C transponder or
  4. Integrated TABS device.

*Required only for VFR aircraft that are fitted with an engine driven electrical system capable of continuously powering a transponder.

Required transponder or ADS-B OUT equipment must be operated continuously during flight unless the pilot is directed or approved otherwise by ATC.

Mode S transponders and ADS-B OUT equipment must be set to transmit:

  • the correct allocated 24-bit address
  • the aircraft identification as shown in item 7 of the filed flight notification, or, when no flight notification has been filed, the aircraft registration.

Optional aircraft surveillance equipment capabilities

With the primary aim of enhancing aircraft-aircraft electronic conspicuity, Chapter 26.16 of the Part 91 Manual of Standards. allows a number of optional ADS-B equipment configurations for VFR aircraft. These equipment configurations do not overcome any of the required equipment configurations mentioned in the previous section.

The table below summarises these optional transponder or ADS-B OUT configurations for VFR aircraft.

Operation

Class of airspace

Optional capability

VFR only

Class A – below FL 290, B, or C

  1. Electronic conspicuity (EC) device – operated concurrently with the aircraft’s:
    1. Mode S transponder (non-ADS-B*) or
    2. Mode A/C transponder.
  2. A Class B TABS position source connected with a Mode S transponder, thus enabling ADS-B OUT.

VFR only

Class D

  1. IFR ADS-B OUT or
  2. Mode S transponder (which also may be connected with a Class B TABS position source for ADS-B OUT) or
  3. Mode A/C transponder or
  4. Integrated TABS device or
  5. EC device – which may be operated concurrently with an aircraft’s:
    1. Mode S transponder (non-ADS-B*) or
    2. Mode A/C transponder.

VFR only

Class E

  1. EC device – which may be operated concurrently with the aircraft’s:
    1. Mode S transponder (non-ADS-B*) or
    2. Mode A/C transponder.
  2. Class B TABS position source connected with an aircraft’s Mode S transponder, thus enabling ADS-B OUT.

VFR only

Class G – 10,000FT AMSL and above

  1. EC device – which may be operated concurrently with the aircraft’s:
    1. Mode S transponder (non-ADS-B*) or
    2. Mode A/C transponder.
  2. Class B TABS position source connected to an aircraft’s Mode S transponder, thus enabling ADS-B OUT.

VFR only

Class G – below 10,000FT AMSL

  1. IFR ADS-B OUT or
  2. Mode S transponder (which may also be connected with a Class B TABS position source for ADS-B OUT) or
  3. Mode A/C transponder or
  4. Integrated TABS device or
  5. EC device – which may be operated concurrently with the aircraft’s:
    1. Mode S transponder (non-ADS-B*) or
    2. Mode A/C transponder.

*Meaning the Mode S transponder is not, at the same time, outputting ADS-B position information.

Read more about electronic conspicuity devices devices and 24-bit addresses.

See section GEN 1.5 in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) from Airservices Australia for information about flight without required surveillance equipment.

Also see rules and regulations for CNS and ATM for guidance about:

  • written authorisation for flight without required surveillance equipment
  • exemptions against fitment requirements.

Installation notes for surveillance equipment

The following useful information about equipment installations has come to our attention:

  • Some older (E)TSO C129 GPS systems – while suitable for PBN - will not meet the requirements for ADS-B. Later versions that incorporate FDE and HPL features may meet the requirements.
  • Aircraft for sale in the US are advertised as having ADS-B; buyers need to ensure that the ADS-B in such aircraft uses the Mode S transponder with Extended Squitter (commonly referred to as 1090 MHz Extended Squitter). Many general aviation aircraft in the US have ADS-B using Universal Access Transceivers (UAT). UAT is not used in Australia and will not meet the Australian requirements for ADS-B.

Electronic conspicuity devices

An electronic conspicuity (EC) device transmits Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) information about the position of an aircraft to other airspace users operating similar equipment.

Using an EC device

EC devices can be used voluntarily in aircraft operated to the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) below FL290.

An EC device can't be used instead of a transponder for operations in Classes A, C, or E airspace or above 10 000 ft AMSL in Class G airspace.

However, it's acceptable to simultaneously operate a transponder and an EC device. This is only if the transponder is not itself outputting ADS-B position information.

Full details about the legal requirements for using EC devices can be found in Chapter 26.16 of the Part 91 Manual of Standards (MOS).

Contact us if you have any questions or to report an issue with an EC device.

Declaration of capability and conformance

As a Pilot in Command (PIC) you must ensure your EC device has a valid declaration of capability and conformance.

An Electronic Conspicuity (EC) device model must not be operated in a transmit mode anywhere in Australia unless we consider the manufacturer has made a valid declaration of capability and conformance to clauses 1 to 5 of Part B of Appendix XIV of Civil Aviation Order 20.18.

The table below lists EC devices with a valid declaration.

Ref number Issue number Manufacturer Type number Category
D20/281172 uAvionix Corporation SkyEcho 2 0 (original product) Intermediate
F21/8947 uAvionix Corporation ping1090i 0 (original) Basic / transmit only

If you're a manufacturer and wish to submit a Declaration of Capability and Conformance, see below.

EC device standards and declaration requirements

Chapter 26.16 of the Part 91 Manual of Standards (MOS) specifies the minimum technical requirement that needs to be met when manufacturing EC devices or marketing EC devices for use in Australia.

Chapter 16.16 of Part 91 MOS specifies unique Australian requirements and cross-refers requirements within Civil Aviation Publication (CAP) 1391 (version 2 or later) produced by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Also see Advisory Circular (AC) 91-23 (PDF, 376 KB).

Your device can only be used on board an aircraft if the device has a valid declaration of capability and conformance. To enable this, you must fill in and send us a Declaration of capability and conformance - Electronic Conspicuity (EC) device (PDF, 173 KB).

If we consider the manufacturer has made a valid declaration of capability, we will list details of the device below on this page.

Certain changes to your EC device require a new declaration of capability and conformance to be submitted. Please read the Advisory Circular AC 91-23 for full details.

If it comes to our attention that there is an issue with your declaration or EC device, we will contact you using the details you have provided.

Use an EC device in an unregistered aircraft

If you're using an EC device on an unregistered aircraft, you need to contact the civil aircraft register. You must provide your contact details, and your device's:

  • make
  • model
  • serial number.

We will then allocate the EC device a unique ICAO 24-bit address. This enables you to use it on multiple unregistered aircraft without re-programming.

Use an EC device in a registered aircraft

If you're using your EC device on a registered aircraft with an existing ICAO 24-bit address, you must program this address into your EC device.

Contact the civil aircraft register if you don’t know the 24-bit address for your aircraft.

If you need to move the device between registered aircraft, you must reprogram it with the new aircraft's ICAO 24-bit address.

Sell or dispose of an EC device

If you sell or dispose of your EC device, you must clear any registered aircraft 24-bit address before the sale.

Last updated:
24 Dec 2021
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