The ADS-B equipage mandates in the U.S. and Europe are getting nearer. How close are carriers to being ready?
In the U.S. at least it looks good. FAA wants all aircraft flying in busy U.S airspace to have compliant ADS-B Out equipment installed by Jan. 1, 2020. Of of Aug. 1, nearly 80% of U.S. commercial aircraft had the equipment installed. An FAA spokesperson expressed the agency’s optimism that all will be equipped by deadline.
Airline representative are even more confident. “All RAA member airlines are on track to meet the deadline," says Regional Airline Association spokesman Aaron Karp. And “A4A’s members are committed to meeting the FAA’s mandate to equip their aircraft with ADS-B capabilities by January 2020," says Airlines For America spokesman Carter Yang.
Europe’s deadline for ADS-B is not until June 7, 2020. And things have been moving a lot slower there. By early August, only about 40% of Europe’s airline aircraft had ADS-B installed, according to Eurocontrol surveillance expert Johan Martensson. He estimates only about 75% of carriers’ aircraft will be equipped by June 2020.
The Eurocontrol exec says the gap in ADS-B deployment can be attributed to airline investment decisions, especially for older airframes, airline doubts about synchronized deployment of air-ground infrastructure to support promised benefits of ADS-B and the fact that suitable avionics for some aircraft were made available late. The European Commission is now considering different transitional arrangements for aircraft still unequipped after June 2020.
Nav Canada has so far only had a voluntary ADS-B program, with participation encouraged by better routing for equipped aircraft, over Hudson Bay and other northern regions. Nav Canada has recently begun testing ADS-B over the North Atlantic. Executive vice president for service delivery Rudy Kellar says the traffic manager is working on mandates for ADS-B equipage for all Canadian airspace to be phased starting in January 2021.