At publication, there are 20 months remaining until the FAA’s Jan. 1, 2020, ADS-B Out equipage deadline. But there’s another crucial date associated with ADS-B coming up this year.
By Aug. 1, 2018 any category of operator — whether commercial airline, corporate jet provider or even U.S. military — needs to submit an upgrade plan to the FAA to qualify for Exemption 12555. It’s not an exemption from equipping with ADS-B Out, rather it is one granted by the FAA to give operators an extra five years to equip their aircraft with third-generation GPS receivers, or those that have satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) compatibility. This stems from an ADS-B requirement featured in CFR 91.227, the Navigation Accuracy Category for Position (NACp) and Navigation Integrity Category (NIC) requirements. It will require commercial airlines operating legacy Airbus and Boeing and other commercial aircraft to retrofit with SBAS multimode receivers (MMR). This is the upgrade that an operator will have to outline when submitting Exemption 12555 to the FAA.
But how do you outline an equipage plan for something that doesn’t exist yet? As I learned from Borja Roiz, an Etihad Airways engineer leading the Middle Eastern carrier’s ADS-B Out installation plan, the SBAS MMR technology it needs to equip its fleet to meet the NACp and NIC requirements simply do not exist yet.
Is this a unique challenge for Etihad, or are others facing similar ADS-B equipage issues?
Elsewhere, our cover story looks at the type of avionics that will be featured on airframes in the research and development phase — mainly electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and supersonic commercial and business passenger jets.
We also also analyze an interesting aviation trend surrounding the growth in intelligence and computing processing capabilities being featured on newer sensor technology. Further, we look at modified commercial Beechcraft airplanes being used as tactical intelligence aircraft, better known as Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems (EMARSS) aircraft operated by the U.S. Army.
I hope to see some of you at the 2018 Global Connected Aircraft Summit in San Diego and the upcoming Aviation Electronics Europe event in Munich. AVS