Aero Latam

On the way to ADS-B Out


The need for ADS-B Out systems in Europe by June 2020 shows the way that developed countries are following a safer aviation.

By Santiago Rivas

In aviation, the decisions taken in the more advanced regions are then spilled towards the rest of the world, which is taking them to the extent possible to improve aviation security. Such is the case of transponders and ADS-B systems, which are increasingly mandatory throughout the skies of the world, whether it is a matter of controlling illegal activities such as to prevent accidents due to collisions between aircraft, among other reasons.

In Europe, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) decided that by June 7, 2020 all aircraft with a maximum cruising speed exceeding 250 knots or a maximum takeoff weight of 5700 kilos, must have an ADS- B Out. The main objective is that air traffic controllers can improve the separation between aircraft, in addition to a more efficient organization of routes for each aircraft, improving safety and reducing flight time, allowing lower operating costs.

In many other countries there is also progress in similar measures, sometimes with other objectives, such as Argentina, where in 2018 it was decided to start using the transponder in a mandatory way for both general aviation and agricultural aviation in the north of the country, north of the 29th parallel, although it is planned to then extend it to the entire national territory. In this case, it is mainly sought to reduce illegal air activity, especially drug trafficking and other types of contraband, in addition to detecting agricultural aircraft operating without authorization.

The ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance System) is a system that transmits flight information without requiring the pilot to send it or upon a request from an air traffic controller, providing an improved set of aircraft surveillance data for the air traffic management. Aircraft equipped with ADS-B are equipped with a transponder that can be detected by ground surveillance systems, a GPS receiver, an aerial data display unit and AHRS (attitude heading reference system). This system significantly improves the accuracy of the data on the flight parameters (position, tracking, speed, etc.) compared to those of existing ground radars.

Aero Latam spoke with Steffen Gemsa, test pilot of the Dornier 228NG of RUAG MRO International, who says the company recently developed a supplementary type certificate (STC) for the ADS-B Out equipped aircraft. This ensures that the Dornier 228NG meets the next requirements of the EASA and those that will be demanded in much of the world in the near future. In addition, the STC is also compatible with the FAA requirements.

Gemsa explains that the ADS-B Out is optimized with the enhanced surveillance parameters in Mode S (EHS) and primary surveillance (ELS), all in the same cabin. This is because the cabin of the plane, full glass cockpit type, was designed taking into account the fusion of information, which allows pilots to access information quickly and navigate in the airspace safely.

“Some operators think that ADS-B is not essential because only certain jurisdictions require it. But the team will quickly be expected not only by air traffic control, but also by other pilots in the airspace,” says Gemsa, referring to how pilots can use ADS-B data to track the location of other aircraft in airspace shared in the future.