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Transition to satellite technology for navigation and surveillance

The Australian Government will soon be making a decision on a replacement system for much of Australia’s existing radar and navaid infrastructure. Recent advances in the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for ‘only means’ navigation and the use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) for ‘radar-like’ services has made these two technologies viable options to advance our infrastructure into the 21st century.

The Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon Mark Vaile’s Australian Airspace Policy Statement, made pursuant to the Airspace Act 2007, sets out the Government’s commitment to examine and implement technologies that can deliver safer and more efficient use of Australian airspace.

The four Australian Government agencies involved in aviation policy: Airservices Australia, the Australian Defence Force, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Department of Transport and Regional Services; are seeking comment on the proposed wider application of ADS-B and GNSS technologies. The attached Joint Consultation Paper (JCP) sets out the proposal, including discussion of proposed funding arrangements and regulatory changes. The Paper also discusses the surveillance and navigation requirements of the Australian aviation industry.

Industry comment on this paper and the vision it sets out will be crucial to the development of a final position on the future of Australia’s civil aviation navigation and surveillance systems. In particular, the feedback gained from the aviation community will assist in the finalisation of risk management and cost-benefit analysis. A copy of the current Cost Benefit Analysis is also provided for your information.

Following consideration of responses to this JCP, the four Government aviation agencies will brief the Ministers for Defence and Transport and Regional Services. The Government will then take a decision on the proposed changes to Australia’s aviation infrastructure.

In progressing the proposal, the agencies will continue to employ rigorous risk management processes including application of the recently published Common Risk Management Framework to the proposal.


  • Achieving improved ATM system safety and efficiency, and associated economic benefits for all airspace users through facilitation of a transition to satellite-based navigation and surveillance; and
  • Providing clear, simple and practical requirements and regulatory guidelines for the carriage and use of ADS-B avionics.

Key Proposed Changes

  • Phased introduction of requirements for the carriage and use of ADS-B avionics;
  • From mid 2012, ADS-B OUT avionics will be required for all IFR operations, large Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and for all VFR operations that require carriage and operation of a transponder; and
  • From mid 2014, ADS-B OUT avionics will also be required for all heavy and medium unmanned free balloons and, with some exceptions, VFR operations for which carriage and use of VHF radio is required.

How to respond

Please forward your response to DOTARS by 31 October 2007 by one of the following means:

  • Fax Attn: ADS-B Proposal (02) 6274 7804
  • Post ADS-B Proposal, Office of Airspace Management,

    Department of Transport and Regional Services

    GPO Box 594

    Canberra ACT 2601
  • Email ADSB@dotars.gov.au

All responses received will be published on the DOTARS website to ensure a transparent consultation process.

Additional information

Contact ADSB@dotars.gov.au