Performance-based navigation GNSS and ADS-B equipment mandates
CASA is implementing new regulations and aircraft equipment mandates to align Australian operations with global standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM). The new rules contain a number of equipment mandates between 12 December 2013 and 2 February 2017 and affect all Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) pilots and aircraft operating in Australia.
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
Australia has implemented GNSS-based Performance- Based Navigation (PBN) in accordance with the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan. PBN uses area navigation and will provide more direct and efficient routes compared to those based on conventional ground-based navigation aids.
GNSS is the enabling technology for both PBN and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) in Australia and will affect all IFR aircraft. Applying both PBN and ADS-B over the whole of Australia will permit:
- increased safety as air traffic control surveillance will be available over the whole of Australia at higher levels, and with substantial coverage at lower levels
- flexi-route—a system that optimises aircraft routes according to the latest weather and location of other aircraft
- reduced separation distances, greater fuel efficiency, lower flight times and reduced congestion at busy aerodromes more efficient approaches to aerodromes.
On 4 February 2016, GNSS is mandatory for all aircraft operating IFR and the Back-up Navigation Network (BNN) is established. On 26 May 2016, (the effective date for AIRAC cycle 1606) the BNN is implemented with 190 navigation aids (NDB, VOR and DME) being decommissioned. From this date, the standard PBN navigation specification to be used for Australian continental en route operations is RNP 2 and for terminal procedures (SIDs and STARs) the standard specification will be RNP 1. Where a NAVAID is decommissioned and the aid was part of a route or procedure, it will be replaced by an ICAO 5-character waypoint designator. It is therefore important that aircraft operators ensure that they have the AIRAC cycle 1606 navigation database installed in their aircraft on 26 May 2016. Operators should also note that not including RNP 2 and RNP 1 in Item 18 of the flight plan is likely to cause it to be rejected.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)
Since 2007, ADS-B has been gradually introduced in Australia with a number of avionics equipment mandates implemented for Australian and foreign registered IFR aircraft. The final mandate will come into effect on 2 February 2017, when all IFR aircraft must be fitted with approved ADS-B equipment.
ADS-B helps provide surveillance coverage across Australia where there is no radar. There are many safety and efficiency benefits for pilots of ADS-B equipped aircraft, including better separation, direct tracking in controlled airspace, safety alerts, and improved assistance for emergencies and weather diversions.
For more information about the key benefits and mandates, please see the CNS-ATM surveillance section.
Deeming provisions and transitional arrangements
To minimise the impact on operators, there are provisions under Civil Aviation Order 20.91 to recognise existing aircraft installation approvals and pilot qualifications. Under these provisions, when an aircraft is equipped with an approved GNSS system and the pilot is suitably qualified, the aircraft—when operated by that pilot—is deemed to hold the navigation authorisations specified in the CAO.
For an aircraft to meet the deeming provisions in CAO 20.91, the GNSS installation must:
- use GNSS as the only input for the area navigation function, for example the navigation system is not a multi-sensor FMS type (stand-alone GNSS systems and integrated avionics systems using only GNSS for area navigation meet this requirement)
- have the Aircraft Flight Manual state the navigation capability of the aircraft. This may be in the form of GNSS (or GPS) En Route, Terminal, and/or Non-Precision Approach or RNP 2, RNP 1 and RNP APCH, or
- meet the installation criteria of AC 21-36.
Aircraft utilising the RNAV 5, RNAV 1 and RNAV 2, RNP 2, RNP 1 and RNP APCH-LNAV navigation specifications do not require CASA issued navigation authorisations, provided the aircraft AFM states that the aircraft meets the requirements for the specification to be used. If the AFM also states that the aircraft is approved for RF legs, Fixed Radius Transitions or Baro-VNAV, these capabilities may be used but only within the limitations specified in CAO 20.91.
- RNAV 5, RNAV 1 and RNAV 2 will not be used in Australia.
- Australian aircraft operating internationally should obtain CASA issued authorisations as evidence of compliance with the PBN navigation specifications listed in the authorisation.
- Pilots must hold a current instrument endorsement valid for the navigation specifications to be used in accordance with:
- CASR Subpart 61.M.2 or 61.N.2 or
- CAO 40.2.1 or 40.2.3.
A pilot will meet the requirements of the deeming provisions if they hold a current instrument endorsement valid for the navigation specifications to be used in accordance with:
- CASR Subpart 61.M.2 or 61.N.2 or
- CAO 40.2.1 or 40.2.3
Some foreign operators may not be able to obtain RNP 2 and/or RNP 1 navigation authorisations from their National Aviation Authority (NAA) because:
- The aircraft flight manual does not contain a statement that it complies with the airworthiness requirements of RNP 2 and/or RNP 1; or
- The NAA does not have rules that enable them to issue RNP 2 and or RNP 1 navigation authorisations.
Since RNP 2 is a relatively new navigation specification, Australia, under the provisions of CASA exemption EX01/16, has approved an acceptable means of compliance for operators holding a GNSS based RNAV 1 & RNAV 2 navigation authorisation. Such operators may operate on Australian continental RNP 2 routes and RNP 1 routes using GNSS based RNAV 1 & RNAV 2. Prior to exercising the privileges of the CASA exemption EX01/16, operators must complete and submit Form 667 to CASA International Operations. For further information, refer to the CASA website CNS/ATM – Navigation webpage.
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Changes at a glance
- From 12 December 2013, all aircraft operating in Australian airspace at or above FL290 must install approved, serviceable ADS-B avionics equipment. Without approved ADS-B avionics, aircraft will not be cleared by air traffic control for flight at or above FL 290.
- From 6 February 2014, any aircraft new to the Australian register must be equipped with TSO C145a, C146a or C196 GNSS and ADS-B out using the 1090 MHz Extended Squitter system.
- From 6 February 2014, any aircraft registered in Australia before 6 February 2014 that is modified by the installation of new or replacement GNSS equipment must have TSO C145, C146 or C196 GNSS equipment installed.
- From 6 February 2014, any aircraft registered in Australia before 6 February 2014 that is modified by the installation of new or replacement ATC Transponder systems must have a Mode S Transponder capable of ADS-B 1090 MHz Extended Squitter transmission installed.
- Aircraft that operate IFR must be equipped with GNSS by 4 February 2016.
- From 4 February 2016 any aircraft operating at Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth must have a Mode S Transponder.
- From 4 February 2016, aircraft operating under IFR in Class A, B, C or E airspace within the 500 NM quadrant north and east of Perth airport must be ADS-B equipped.
- By 2 February 2017, all aircraft operating under IFR will have to be equipped with approved ADS-B avionics.