ADS-B News/Updates and Changes for IFR Clearances at Non-Tower Airports

ADS-B News/Updates and Changes for IFR Clearances at Non-Tower Airports

ADS-B News/Updates and Changes for IFR Clearances at Non-Tower Airports

ADS-B Preflight Requirement

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will issue a NOTAM that will largely exempt general aviation operators from an ADS-B preflight requirement after the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline. The NOTAM exempts ADS-B Out transmitters that use WAAS GPS receivers as a position source from the preflight requirement and states specifically: “It is not necessary for operators of aircraft equipped with the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) (TSO−C145 or TSO−C146) receivers to conduct a preflight availability prediction.”

ADS-B re: Flight Tracking Opt-Out

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) recently communicated that “given the long-standing recognition by government and industry of the need to maintain in-flight security, it is working with the FAA and other stakeholders to identify the most effective means to ensure that operators continue to have the ability to opt out from having their flights tracked in real time,” with new ADS-B technology, starting Jan. 1, 2020.

Through the FAA’s working group Equip 2020, the NBAA is working with other general aviation associations to develop an opt-out solution based on providing operators an alternate 24-bit ICAO (Mode S transponder) code.

“Under this solution, operators would retain their permanent transponder code tied to an aircraft’s N-number, but would also be able to use a secondary, nonpublished code, assigned and managed by the FAA, which would not link to the specific aircraft tail number. It is expected that operators could request a new secondary code at least once every 30 days.

“The addition of this new, secondary ICAO code program to the existing FAA Blocked Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program would address not only what information managed by FAA is shared under BARR, but also the data transmitted by the aircraft itself to determine its identification throughout the NAS. While private ADS-B receivers could still detect an aircraft flying overhead, they would not see any information allowing them to match that aircraft to the owner listed in the FAA Registry.”

“Everyone agrees that a person shouldn’t need to give up his or her security when boarding an airplane,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We remain committed to working with the FAA and others to ensure that operators are given an ability to opt out from having their flights tracked in real time, basically by anyone, anywhere in the world, who happens to have the appropriate equipment for doing so, and whose intentions may be unknown.”

The communication also stated: “Since 2000, Congress has repeatedly passed legislation mandating that the FAA provide a means for opting out from real-time flight tracking, regardless of the technology involved. While such a provision has long been in effect in the U.S., it does not necessarily apply to international flights.”

Change in IFR Clearances from
Non-tower Airports

The FAA recently announced that in an effort to reduce the risk of potential errors, pilots calling via telephone for an IFR clearance or canceling a clearance from non-tower airports can now call the overlying Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) Flight Data Units or an approach control facility.

Previously pilots would call Leidos Flight Service (LFS), a contractor that provides flight service information for pilots flying in the United States and relay the request to FAA facilities. LFS will still relay clearances over remote-communications outlets (RCO) located on the airport, and also continue to provide full weather briefings and flight plan filing services, along with the relay and cancellation of IFR clearances for medevac pilots via telephone at (877) 543-7433.

Applicable phone numbers are published in the FAA’s Chart Supplement (formerly Airport/Facility Directory), which are available (broken down by region) for free online.

About the Author

Leave a Reply