With the ADS-B Out mandate going into effect Jan. 1, 2020, aircraft owners are encouraged to test their equipment to ensure it is in compliance.
That’s because if you upgraded to ADS-B prior to 2015, it’s likely the transponders were manufactured to the DO-260/260A standard, which was an earlier requirement for flying in Australia and other parts of the world.
However, the version the FAA adopted for the flying in United States airspace is DO-260B.
The DO-260B standard was adopted because it eliminates latency and adds annunciation requirements, Duncan officials explain.
This standard was later accepted as the worldwide standard by all civil air authorities.
Collins’ transponders with part numbers ending in -409 and below are not compliant with the mandate and will need to be upgraded, according to company officials.
“The good news is if you’ve upgraded to the DO-260A standard, you’re typically Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)-compliant, so you have the antenna and GPS sensors necessary and will need only the transponder upgrades,” says Regional Avionics Sales Manager John Spellmeyer.
One way you can make sure you are compliant with the ADS-B mandate is to check to see if your emitter is broadcasting signals reagarding your aircraft’s position, speed, location in relation to other aircraft, and other information to Air Traffic Control and other aircraft in the area where you’re flying.
The FAA issued a report earlier this year warning that there was a high rate of non-performing emitters (NPEs).
Many of the aircaft with NPEs were likely installed more than four years ago or prior to changes made in the mandate and implemented over the years after its initial announcement.
Some, however, may be a result of an improper installation or equipment configuation. Common reasons the emitter may not be transmitting include:
- Incorrect software version or improper configuration. Either issue can reduce the accuracy of the aircraft’s position
- Incorrect emitter category. This happens when the ADS-B system transmits the wrong emitter category based on its maximum take-off weight
- Incorrect Flight ID. This happens when the aircraft’s registration for Mode S doesn’t match the Flight ID
- Transmitting airborne data. An error when the signal is transmitting but the aircraft is on the ground
How to test whether you are compliant before the deadline
About one hour after a flight, go to the FAA’s website and request a Public ADS-B Performance Report (PAPR). The PAPR helps you verify that your ADS-B equipment is functioning properly.
If you are unable to determine whether your aircraft is in compliance, send an email to the FAA (9-AWA-AFS-300-ADSB-AvionicsCheck@faa.gov). In the subject line, put your aircraft registration number.
In the body of the email include:
- Flight identification code
- Flight date and time
- Make and model of your ADS-B transmitter and GPS
- Any ADS-B avionics operating abnormalities you have observed or reported during the flight
You will receive a report from the FAA showing what parameters of your system have failed.