FAA Finalizing Items for ADS-B Implementation
Operational Rollout of ADS-B Baseline Services Complete
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced earlier that it has completed the implementation of the ADS-B Baseline Services on schedule and ready for the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B aircraft equipage deadline.
ADS-B is now operational at 155 airports, terminal radar approach control facilities and en route facilities and the FAA relayed that it is the preferred source for surveillance at those facilities which it says provides improved situational awareness for pilots and controllers and more accurate tracking of airplanes.
FAA Initiates Privacy ICAO Address Program
In response to concerns of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and members of the general aviation community citing lack of privacy as a barrier to ADS-B Out equipment, the FAA has introduced the Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) Program “with the objective of improving the privacy of aircraft operators in today’s ADS-B environment by limiting the extent to which the aircraft can be quickly and easily identified by non-U.S. government entities, while ensuring there is no adverse effect on ATC services.”
Eligible aircraft for the PIA Program need to be U.S. registered, 1090 MHz ADS-B equipped, using a third-party call sign and flying in the domestic U.S. airspace. The administration specifies that owners of eligible aircraft can “request an alternate, temporary ICAO Aircraft Address, which will not be assigned to the owner in the Civil Aviation Registry (CAR).”
According to the announcement, the program will have two phases:
Phase 1: The application for PIA can be accessed from https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/privacy “starting on or slightly before Jan. 1, 2020.” This service will be operated, monitored and maintained by the FAA.
Phase 2: The service will be transitioned to third-party service provider(s) who will operate, monitor and maintain this program, which will continue to be available from the website page noted.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen commented on the program by saying, “We’re pleased the FAA has responded positively to ADS-B privacy concerns of operators, which NBAA has raised in numerous government/industry forums, including with the NextGen Advisory Committee. Until now, the lack of a privacy solution has been a disincentive for some operators to equip with ADS-B. No one should have to surrender their privacy and security just because they board an airplane.”
For more information, go to: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/privacy
NOTAM Improvement Bill Approved by House
In early November, the Notice to Airmen Improvement Act of 2019 (H.R. 1775) passed a voice vote in the House and is headed to the Senate Commerce Committee for consideration.
H.R. 1775 calls on the FAA to establish a task force that is comprised of a cross section of industry, safety and human factors experts to review existing means to present NOTAMS and flight operations information to pilots; review regulations and policies surrounding NOTAMS; determine best practices to organize, prioritize and present flight operation information in an optimal manner, and provide recommendations to improve NOTAM information.
Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) introduced the legislation and said, “Although NOTAMS contain critical safety information, they are often lengthy and difficult to understand. These inefficiencies have the potential to create life-threatening situations. My legislation will ensure the continued safety of air travel by requiring that safety protocols are consistently maintained and improved upon.”
The report that accompanied the bill pointed to the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation to the FAA in 2018 to establish a group of human factors experts to review information presented to pilots.
NBAA and IBAC Respond to Calls for Restricting UK Airport Access to BizAv
The NBAA and the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) responded to calls from some British political leaders for restricting business aircraft access to airports in the United Kingdom (UK) on emissions grounds.
The two associations emphasized that such proposals disproportionately target a single transportation mode with a proven record on carbon reduction and an aggressive push underway for the availability and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). These non-fossil fuel power sources can reduce aviation’s carbon lifecycle emissions by up to 80%. The fuels are fully certified, safe and ready to use in all turbine engines today.
Despite the industry’s focus on sustainability, representatives of the Labour Party in Britain’s Parliament recently cast their support for such a plan, calling an eventual ban on airport access for business aircraft powered by traditional fuels “a sensible proposal.”
“Even though business aviation accounts for only a minuscule portion of transportation emissions, the industry is pressing ahead on SAF,” said IBAC Director General Kurt Edwards. “Instead of singling out business aviation for prohibitive restrictions on airport access, UK leaders should focus on efforts to make SAF more widely available in the UK through positive incentive policies to encourage production and use of SAF in greater quantities.”
“Business aviation has continually led the way in promoting products, procedures and policies to reduce aircraft emissions, with proven results,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We urge leaders in the UK and elsewhere to set aside punitive proposals like this one, and work with us to build upon the significant progress made to date.”
Edwards and Bolen pointed to the decades-long industry investment in satellite-based avionics, winglets, airframe composites, advanced propulsion systems and other innovations that have made aircraft ever more fuel efficient, thereby continually reducing carbon emissions. Thanks to these and other advances, over the course of the past four decades, carbon emissions from business aviation have been reduced by 40%.
Ten years ago, business aviation leaders redoubled their commitment to emissions reduction, uniting behind a plan to reduce the industry’s overall emissions 50% by the year 2050, relative to 2005 levels. A central pillar of this commitment has been the development of SAF.
“At a time when leadership is needed on sustainability, the proposed ban lacks meaningful value. It will have a de minimis impact on emissions overall while denying connectivity for London and hindering competitiveness for companies of all sizes in the region and beyond,” Edwards said. “Let’s focus on proposals that would have a real effect on emissions reduction while also promoting aviation connectivity and sustainability.”