By now, you may think there is nothing else to say about ADS-B. The mandates in the U.S. and Europe that will go into effect at the start of 2020 are well-established, and civil aviation regulators in other flight information regions have already enforced their own mandates. Airlines have been using ADS-B since the early 2000s. What’s left to say?
Quite a lot, it turns out. Many airlines still have yet to equip their full fleet of aircraft to comply with the European and U.S. 2020 deadlines. The percentage of U.S. registered helicopters equipped with ADS-B is still relatively low. Thousands of U.S. military aircraft also still need to be equipped, and there are a number of unanswered questions.
For example, what options are available to European airlines that already know they’re not going to be fully equipped to meet EASA’s June 2020 deadline? How will non-performing emitter ADS-B aircraft be integrated into the National Airspace System? What solutions can be provided to business jet and military operators who — not thrilled about widespread public access to their ADS-B Out position reports via web-based flight tracking applications — would prefer to only have air traffic controllers see position?
We will keep asking – and answering, as much as possible – the above questions through our continued coverage of all things ADS-B throughout the year.
In our all-ADS-B March edition, we analyze efforts in Europe to help airspace users across all segments meet the deadline. We also analyze what it means for air traffic controllers in the North Atlantic airspace to start introducing space-based ADS-B for live flight operations. Nick Zazulia provides coverage of the impact of the recent government shutdown on FAA, industry and MRO aspects of ADS-B equipage and operation. Mark Robins offers some insight on how to deal with ADS-B failures as well.
What else should we be covering related to ADS-B? It would be great to hear perspectives on what ADS-B related topics or challenges readers are interested. Have suggestions? Feel free to reach out, and happy ADS-B’ing to everyone upgrading their aircraft to what will soon become the world’s main source of air traffic surveillance.