Australia’s CASA plans lower cost ADS-B

Australian aviation regulator CASA will be developing rule changes aimed at making it cheaper and easier for aircraft flying under visual flight rules to voluntarily use automatic dependent surveillance—broadcast (ADS-B) technology.

While all instrument flight rules aircraft must be fitted with the technology—which automatically broadcasts the precise location and altitude of aircraft—CASA admits that voluntary uptake in the visual flight rules community has been low.

CASA chief Shane Carmody said that recent consultation has indicated that there is strong support for the voluntary adoption of ADS-B across general aviation.

“The visual flight rules community appreciates the safety benefits ADS-B technology offers, but has called for CASA to make the technology more accessible with avionics that are cheaper and less onerous to install,” Carmody said. “The challenge has been to find the right solutions and incentives that will encourage fitment and uphold an acceptable level of safety.”

Following consideration of the options and feedback received through industry consultation earlier this year, CASA is proposing to relax the equipment and installation standards for ADS-B fitment in visual flight rules aircraft.

The changes would allow some uncertified avionics that meet a recognised standard for ADS-B, would enable ADS-B installation to be classed as a minor modification and enable amateur-built and sports aviation aircraft operators to install ADS-B under self-administration arrangements.

“The solutions we are proposing genuinely reflect the preferences and ideas from the aviation community, including avionics manufacturers and installers,” Carmody said. “We see this as a sensible and practical solution for the visual flight rules community to ensure technology that makes the skies safe is available to them and delivers a positive safety outcome.”

The aviation community will have a chance to review the detail of the proposed new rules and provide feedback before they are finalised. Consultation is expected to open later this year.

Read the consultation feedback and find out more in CASA’s Consultation Hub.