Six months to go – Mandate for satellite technology fitment fast approaching

4 Aug 2016

Just six months remain for operators and owners of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft to ensure their aircraft are fitted with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology, which improves safety and efficiency, ahead of a fast approaching industry mandate.

Airservices continues to remind affected operators and owners that on 2 February 2017, all IFR aircraft flying in Australian airspace must be equipped with ADS-B which allows air traffic controllers to accurately track their aircraft in areas of no radar coverage.

Airservices Executive General Manager Air Navigation Services, Stephen Angus, has thanked the Australian aviation industry for its commitment to the technology with more than 82 per cent of IFR aircraft already flying with ADS-B.

“I would like to congratulate those operators and owners who have already fitted with ADS-B and are seeing the real benefits the technology offers,” Mr Angus said.

“I would also encourage those who have not yet fitted their aircraft with ADS-B to make sure they do before 2 February 2017.”

There are around 1000 IFR aircraft that still need to be fitted in Australia prior to the mandate which includes about 90 of Australia’s IFR helicopter fleet.

Operators that are already fitted are gaining the benefits of improved air traffic surveillance coverage across the continent, enhanced situational awareness and an increased likelihood of obtaining their preferred flight levels or altitudes.

“ADS-B has proven to offer a significant increase in situational awareness for our pilots,” said Mick Perren, CHC Helicopter’s pilot and Jandakot base manager for Western Australia’s RAC Rescue Helicopter Service.

“When operating out of Jandakot Airport, certainly one of the busiest airports in Australia, instead of just getting an icon on the traffic display, with ADS-B we get more information about the traffic. We get a much better picture of what is happening around us and this is where we have seen the biggest advantage.”

Airservices has long been a leader in investing in new technology to improve efficiency and safety for our airspace users, with Australia the first country in the world to commission a continent-wide ADS-B surveillance network in 2009.