Mandate compliance dates in the U.S. and Europe are fast approaching, so operators should look to formulate their roadmaps to compliance in order to prevent losing access to airspace.
Helicopter Air Ambulance
The FAA is implementing new operational procedures and additional equipment requirements for helicopter air ambulance operations. This final rule also increases safety for commercial helicopter operations by revising requirements for equipment, pilot testing, and alternate airports. It increases weather minimums for all general aviation helicopter operations. The changes are intended to provide certificate holders and pilots with additional tools and procedures that will aid in preventing accidents. Compliance effective date: April 23, 2018 for operators in North America.
The Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A+, Protected Mode Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (PM-CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) mandate compliance dates in the U.S. and Europe are fast approaching, so operators should look to formulate their roadmaps to compliance in order prevent losing access to airspace.
Controller Pilot Data Link (CPDLC)
- “Text messaging” between the pilot and the air traffic controller
- Provides direct data link communication designed to optimize the Communications Radio Frequency spectrum (voice vs. data) –
- Frees up congested voice frequencies
- Enhances Safety by providing clear text instructions/communications in place of voice transmissions
- Quicker ATC responses
- Automation routine tasks
Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A+
The Future Air Navigation System is a concept that was developed by the ICAO in partnership with Boeing, Airbus, Honeywell and others in the aerospace industry to allow more aircraft to safely and efficiently utilize a given volume of airspace.
- FANS 1/A+ provides CPDLC for oceanic/remote regions operations with Satcom as the primary means of communication
- FANS 1/A+ is utilized on the North Atlantic Tracks – a series of six “highways” across the North Atlantic – will apply to all flight levels in these tracks in 2020
- FAA’s Datacomm Program is currently being built around FANS-1/A protocol over VDLM2
- Tower services are being deployed now (available today at many airports), enroute services are expected in the 2019+ timeframe
Compliance effective dates: December 2017 FL350-FL390 throughout the ICAO NAT Region and January 2020 above FL290 throughout the ICAO NAT Region.
Protected Mode - Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (PM-CPDLC)
PM-CPDLC is for over land application in Europe. The system allows pilots and ATC to send pre-set or “canned” data messages between the ground and the aircraft.
- PM-CPDLC is for Over Land application in Europe
- PM-CPDLC is also known as Link 2000+
- Utilizes the ATN protocol
- Primary communication is VHF Data Radio using Mode 2
Compliance effective dates: December 7, 2017 FL350-FL390 throughout the ICAO NAT Region and January 30, 2020 above FL290 throughout the ICAO NAT Region.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out)
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast is a new way for air traffic control to separate air traffic that doesn’t rely on radar - allows for tighter aircraft spacing and higher traffic capacity in congested airspace.
- ADS-B is a key component of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) – the transition from ground-based-radar air traffic control to an automated transmission of precise aircraft position based on Global Positioning System data
- ADS-B Out is a new way for air traffic control to separate air traffic that doesn’t rely on radar – allows for tighter aircraft spacing and higher traffic capacity in congested airspace
- Aircraft flying in ADS-B Out airspace use GPS to determine its position and automatically transmit it – these position reports are significantly more accurate and update more quickly than radar
Compliance effective date: 2020.
TCAS Change 7.1
TCAS / ACAS 7.1 is required to prevent incorrect pilot responses. TCAS II Version 7.0 Safety Issues Identified:
- Data identified numerous cases where pilots did not respond correctly to the “Adjust vertical speed, adjust” Resolution Advisories (RA).
- The vertical rate was increased rather than reduced.
- Additionally, a number of cases 7.0 failed to reverse an RA when two converging aircraft remained within 100 ft. This type scenario would be occur when one aircraft is not following the RA or is not TCAS II-equipped and follows an ATC instruction or performs an avoidance maneuver based on visual acquisition.
Compliance effective date: 2017.