An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.


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ADS-B, #casa and the Safety case

Senator Xenophon raised an important point in the October estimates on ADS-B, particularly with the lack of a safety case by #casa. I believe Shane Carmody was misleading the Senate, in a similar fashion to that made an art form by McCormick and then Skidmore, along with the other usual suspects such as Anastasi and Aleck.

In fact the original proposal for a move to ADS-B, was to give a substantial subsidy to all aircraft owners, as there would be a large benefit to Airservices in operating cost post ADS-B installation and the ability to retire a large proportion of the radar system – which had a huge advantage in overall operating cost.

That proposal disappeared, somewhat like babies and bathwater!!

What Australia got was a costly early innovators expensive package, three years earlier than the US and at a huge cost that in part saw large numbers of aircraft “parked up” and pilots leave GA in droves.

The cost then reverted to the suffering operator, with a mandate to install over 3 years before the US and a huge cost. The recent #casa back-off for private IFR, has given some assistance, as shown in the attached article in Australian Aviation.

A search on the #casa site gives no mention of this change, which is buried in the  November monthly missive.

ADS-B changes for private IFR extending deadline to 2020

Changes have been made to the requirements for fitting and using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast equipment (ADS-B) in private aircraft.  Private aircraft flying under the instrument flight rules will now have longer to fit ABS-B equipment – with the deadline extended from 2 February 2017 to 1 January 2020. This aligns with the ADS-B deadline in the United States. However, aircraft conducting private operations under the instrument flight rules without ADS-B will be subject to a number of conditions. They will be required to operate below 10,000 feet in uncontrolled class G airspace and in class D airspace they will be subject to air traffic control clearance. They can only operate in class C and E airspace to facilitate arrival or departure from a class D aerodrome, with prior clearance from air traffic control and only if fitted with a secondary surveillance radar transponder.

The new ADS-B deadline for private operations will mean the remaining aircraft can be fitted with the equipment in an orderly manner – reducing the burden on owners, operators and avionics suppliers.  All Australian regular public transport, charter and aerial work aircraft must still be fitted with ADS-B equipment by 2 February 2017.

To date 88 per cent of instrument flight rules operations are conducted in aircraft fitted with ADS-B. This is anticipated to increase to 94 per cent by February 2017. Aircraft flying under the visual flight rules are not required to fit ADS-B equipment.

The Senate QON reply from acting ceo, #casa carmody is interesting.

Topic: ADS-B Prices
Proof Hansard Page: Written (21 October 2016)
Senator Xenophon, Nick asked:
What empirical or other data does CASA have to ground the claim that that ADS-B prices will go up as a function of time?

CASA does not have empirical or other data regarding the fluctuations in the price of ADS-B equipment.
However, the avionics costs were considered as part of the ADS-B Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) and then reviewed by CASA in 2015. It was found during that review that the RIS costs were generally consistent with the current prices.
In addition, the US-based Aircraft Electronics Association, representing the manufacturers of ADS-B equipment, recently suggested that the ADS-B equipment costs had reached their lowest price point.

A typical reply by #casa, attempting to justify the position of #casa and it’s routine lack of a safety case to support a major change in operations within the #aviation industry.

Carmody denies that ADS-B will become cheaper, yet the evidence from the AOPA-US article in September 2016 says:

P86 AOPA-US says that ADS-B is becoming more affordable with time as more manufacturers have ADS-B equipment TSO’d. 

I would expect this to become more prevalent, as ADS-B becomes a more mature technology. The case could be made for a 2020 deadline on this pricing alone.

The Company, Stratus, says:

Stratus ESG was designed with non-glass panel aircraft in mind. Our simplified solution includes a 1090 ES transponder and certified WAAS GPS in the same box. It’s truly an all-in-one box solution for 2020* [US] compliance.

TSO’d 1090 ES Transponder
Built-in WAAS GPS
GPS antenna included
Recommended price: $(US)2,995

TSO Compliance C112e (Level 2els, Class 1),
C145d (Class Beta 1 GPS/WAAS),
C166b (Class B1S)

Stratus says: “…Even while we’re adding to our STC AML, you’ll have no trouble getting Stratus ESG installed in your Piper, Mooney, or any other Part 23 aircraft, based on our lead STC (for Cessna 172-172S)….”

Hansard October Senate Etimates


The third aspect, if I may say, is that there is nothing to suggest that the prices will decrease as fitment increases in the United States and elsewhere. In fact, there might be more competition for equipment, and the prices may not decrease. It may be more difficult to get equipment closer to the time. The view from one group of people is that it will get cheaper if we wait until afterwards. The challenge for us is that ADS-B is a safer technology, because it indicates where every aircraft is. That is the safety case we are working towards.

My final point on the United States—
Senator XENOPHON: That is not all aircraft and, with apologies, Senator Sterle, ADS-B stands for—
Mr Carmody: Okay, it is not all.
Senator XENOPHON: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-broadcast.
CHAIR: Senator Xenophon, I do not mean to interrupt, but you are coming to the end.
Senator XENOPHON: I am. I am very close. Can I just say that if aircraft fly below cloud cover, visually—if aircraft do not have ADS-B, they have to fly visually—correct?
Mr Carmody: Yes, they have to fly visually. That is correct.

Senator XENOPHON: The point that Dick Smith has made to me just again today is that that poses a risk to pilots. There has never been a case of a mid-air collision in this country involving aircraft in clouds—is that right?

Mr Carmody: I did see a quote to that effect. I assume it is correct; I have heard that.

Senator XENOPHON: He has expressed a concern previously and again today that requiring pilots who cannot afford to install ADS-B to fly visually below clouds itself is problematic from a safety point of view.

Is that something you have assessed?

Mr Carmody: Not to my knowledge. I can take that on notice and see whether we have. I do not know the answer to that, I am sorry.

Senator XENOPHON: Could you take it on notice. Is there any possibility—and I emphasize the word ‘possibility’—that, given the alarming numbers in respect to general aviation in this country, there may be consideration on CASA’s part to consider a stretching out of the date for the implementation of ADS-B?

Mr Carmody: There are no plans at this stage to delay the implementation, but I have only been in place for a week. I would like to look at the possibilities. At this stage there are none, but I will see.

Senator XENOPHON: My final question is a follow-up. The base of your assertion is that it might be more expensive in a few years time, and that did not work for flat screen TVs or other technology.

Mr Carmody: Different technology. But that is just an assertion in the same way as it is an assertion that it will get cheaper, if I may, by AOPA.

Senator XENOPHON: And that generally happens with new technology?

Mr Carmody: It might.

Senator XENOPHON: Could you get back to me on that. Thank you, Chair, for your patience.

CASA extends ADS-B deadline for private aircraft