Sunday, October 7, 2007


Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast

Airservices/CASA are pushing ahead with ADS-B (a type of upmarket version of Flarm used by gliders and some ultralights at mixed airfields) This, in its current form, I believe, will be VERY BAD news for us. By 2012 all aircraft entering CTA will be required to have ADS-B fitted, and by 2014 all aircraft in CTAF(R) will require ADS-B. View link

CASA policy is to make all aerodromes that have a visit from one or more 10 seat aircraft per month a CTAF(R). So starting 2014 if you want to go into or through a CTAF(R) you must have ADS-B, and by then most of the airfields we currently fly at or near or through will be CTAF(R)

The “estimated” cost of these units is $10,000 to $15,000 plus instillation?. They can only be repaired by a CASA approved Radio Tec. They will also need to be serviced every two years by an approved Tec. Most of us can’t fly our aircraft into Brisbane or some other major center for a service, So if you can’t put your plane on a trailer, think of what the call out fee might be.

There are suggestions that the government may cover the costs for the initial instillation for currently registered aircraft but not for any new aircraft in the future. But even if we get a “free” unit, the upkeep could "bankrupt" many of us. We will also sell out all our future members of RA-Aus, or if you belong to AOPA, SAAA etc, your future members, if we accept this in its current form. Also no one seems to know how big or how heavy these aviation units are or what their power consumption will be. There will be exemptions for aircraft with low battery capacity or no alternator etc, plus other undefined aviation uses. You could have airspace full of, say, gliders, hang gliders, paragliders etc but banned to ultralights. If so what is the point of having them compulsory outside of CTR.

Also, as I read the new regulations, If you don't have ADSB you won't be able to fly above 5,000 ft (QNH) regardless of the terrain.

My personal view is we need to lobby to at least stop them from being compulsory in CTAF(R), and below 10,000 ft.

In the marine field this system is called AIS (no height requirement) and has been in operation for some time, and I guess is where the Aviation idea came from. This is now mandated for commercial shipping but you can buy pleasure craft versions of AIS for under $1000 which use is voluntary. Also non AIS equipped pleasure craft are not excluded from shipping lanes where AIS is compulsory for commercial shipping. Eg The narrow shipping lane up Cape York Peninsular.

Also if any of you people out there have a "thing" about your personal privacy in sporting or pleasure pursuits, be advised that every single move you make in your aircraft fitted with ADSB, from key on to key off, will be tracked and logged by the government agencies. (track, height, time, bearing, landings etc). If your IQ is greater than 10 you can work out future possible ramifications of this.

The military have rejected their compulsory instillation for now. My personal view is we should do the same under the current proposals.

How to respond

Please forward your response to DOTARS by 31 October 2007 by one of the following means:
  • Fax Attn: ADS-B Proposal (02) 6274 7804
  • Post ADS-B Proposal, Office of Airspace Management,
    Department of Transport and Regional Services
    GPO Box 594
    Canberra ACT 2601
  • Email
We, as Recreational Aviators must be very proactive on this matter. RESPOND NOW.

John McK (wearing my personal and RA-Rus Board hat on this one)