However, agency officials emphasized the policy is not an alternative to equipping, nor should aircraft owners expect such authorizations to be a frequent occurrence.
“These per-operation authorizations are not intended to support routine operations of non-equipped aircraft in airspace covered by the rule,” the agency said in its April 1 announcement. “The FAA anticipates that operators who routinely fly in airspace covered by the ADS-B rule are taking the necessary steps to equip in order to ensure there is no disruption to their operations.”
Once the ADS-B mandate goes into effect, aircraft owners seeking to fly in airspace covered by the rule, but whose aircraft are not equipped with ADS-B Out avionics, must request authorization to operate in that airspace at least one hour prior to their proposed flight.
Operating in ADS-B airspace without obtaining such authorization will be considered a violation. The authorization process is distinct from receiving clearance from ATC to operate in airspace requiring ADS-B, officials with the National Business Aviation Association noted.
“The policy is very clear: These per-flight authorizations should absolutely not be viewed as a backup option to ADS-B or justification for not equipping,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA director, air traffic services and infrastructure. “Such authorizations are primarily intended for operators awaiting their scheduled ADS-B installation past the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline, or for pilots who infrequently operate in the affected airspace.”
The FAA further emphasized that such authorizations may be difficult to receive for non-ADS-B equipped operations near “capacity-constrained airports,” including:
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- McCarran International Airport (LAS)
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
- San Diego International Airport (SAN)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Williams said she expected the agency to unveil a web-based resource in the coming months for aircraft owners to submit their requests and receive authorizations, with an emphasis on same-day operations. Authorizations will not be issued by calling the FAA or any ATC facility, she added.
“The majority of the FAA’s guidance speaks to scheduled operators, but it also applies to Part 135 and Part 91,” she said. “The FAA’s message remains the same as before: If you plan to routinely fly in this airspace, you’d better plan to have ADS-B.”