Final Rule Represents Major NextGen Milestone
The performance requirements for aircraft tracking equipment
that will be required under NextGen were announced by the FAA
Thursday. The final rule, developed with extensive input from the
aviation community, requires aircraft flying in certain airspace to
broadcast their position via ADS-B by 2020. The rule mandates that
the broadcast signal meet specific requirements in terms of
accuracy, integrity, power and latency.
"Today we have reached a major NextGen milestone," said U.S.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This technology represents
another step forward in our ability to make America's skies the
safest in the world."
"This rule gives the green light for manufacturers to begin
building the onboard equipment that will allow our air traffic
controllers to know where aircraft are with greater precision and
reliability," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "That is one of
the key elements of NextGen that will improve the safety and
efficiency of flight."
Additional ADS-B services should allow pilots to view cockpit
displays to see the location of other aircraft in the sky around
them. ADS-B displays are envisioned that will show pilots where
they are in relation to bad weather and terrain - even at night or
in conditions with poor visibility - and provide flight
information, including temporary flight restrictions, which allow
pilots to plan safe, more efficient routes.
Some of this information is now being broadcast free to aircraft
equipped with ADS-B in the Gulf of Mexico, South Florida and in the
airspace above Louisville, Philadelphia and Juneau, Alaska. Those
areas were chosen as key sites to roll out ADS-B due to challenges
presented by vast stretches of water, rugged terrain and traffic
congestion. These areas also are populated by aircraft already
equipped with ADS-B. The nationwide rollout of ADS-B ground
stations will be complete in 2013.
The final rule prescribes ADS–B Out performance
requirements for all aircraft operating in Class A, B, and C
airspace within the NAS; above the ceiling and within the lateral
boundaries of a Class B or Class C airspace area up to 10,000 feet
mean sea level (MSL); and Class E airspace areas at or above 10,000
feet MSL over the 48 contiguous United States and the District of
Columbia, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the
The rule also requires that aircraft meet these performance
requirements in the airspace within 30 nautical miles (NM) of
certain identified airports that are among the nation’s
busiest (based on annual passenger enplanements, annual airport
operations count, and operational complexity) from the surface up
to 10,000 feet MSL. In addition, the rule requires that aircraft
meet ADS–B Out performance requirements to operate in Class E
airspace over the Gulf of Mexico at and above 3,000 feet MSL within
12 NM of the coastline of the United States.
By 2020, the FAA will require ADS-B equipment for aircraft
flying in airspace including Classes A, B and C, around busy
airports and above 10,000 feet.