The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) announced on January 23 that it is initiating an audit of the FAA’s ADS-B “information security controls.” While some concerns about insecurity of ADS-B signals have surfaced, it is not known if these concerns drove the decision to require the audit. The audit itself stems from a requirement in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators in the U.S. would have to file and fly instrument flight plans and equip their aircraft for position reporting with transponders and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) transmissions based on GPS.
The FAA granted TSO authorization to Garmin’s GDL 88 ADS-B solution, designed to bring ADS-B out and in capability to Part 23 aircraft flying below 18,000 feet to meet the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out mandate. The GDL 88 receives on both ADS-B frequencies, 978 and 1090 mHz, allowing display of most traffic types as well as FAA-generated traffic feeds. The GDL 88 also includes Garmin’s TargetTrend relative motion technology to help pilots “visualize the trend of traffic threats as it relates to their aircraft,” according to Garmin.
Accord Technology’s NexNav mini GPS receiver is now available to provide the GPS solution for Trig’s TT31 ADS-B out transponder. The combination of the NexNav mini and Trig TT31 meets the FAA’s 2020 ADS-B out mandate, which requires a GPS source that meets specific accuracy requirements (TSO-C145c Class Beta 1). The TT31 retails for $3,349 and with the NexNav mini is installable under an approved model list in a variety of aircraft. The NexNav mini costs $5,775. Flight-testing was done in a Mooney M20.
Pilots who operate ADS-B-equipped aircraft in any of seven U.S. terminal airspace regions can now take advantage of free air traffic advisories and weather information. The areas include Fairbanks (FAI) in Alaska; Lansing (LAN) in Michigan; Moses Lake (MWH), Pasco (PSC) and Yakima (YKM) in Washington state; as well as Waterloo (ALO) in Iowa; and Youngstown (YNG) in Ohio.
As with civil aviation operators, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) must ready its aircraft fleet to comply with fast-approaching mandates to operate in the future global airspace system. Failure to meet those requirements will prevent operators from being able to take advantage of preferential routes and altitudes that will be available to properly equipped aircraft.
Dassault Falcon has received EASA approval for a supplemental type certificate (STC) to install ADS-B out (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast out) on Falcon 50EXs and classic Falcon 2000s equipped with Pro Line 4 avionics. With this STC, Falcon operators can take advantage of the safety and operational improvements of the new technology before the mandated compliance date set by airworthiness authorities. Both aircraft received similar FAA STC approval within the past year.
Canadian air navigation service provider (ANSP) Nav Canada and Iridium Communications signed a joint venture agreement that will eventually give Nav Canada a controlling interest in the Aireon global, satellite-based aircraft surveillance system.
The FAA has extended for a second year an operational evaluation of pilot initiated climbs and descents using in-trail procedures (ITP) in Pacific Ocean airspace. The trial involves 12 United Airlines Boeing 747-400s flying between the U.S. West Coast and Australia and New Zealand. Having extended the evaluation to Aug. 15, 2013, the agency said that it is also holding “exploratory conversations” with ANA and Japan Airlines to include some of their aircraft in the process.
Garmin has introduced two new avionics products targeting the Part 25 transport category market, the new GTS 8000 Tcas II unit and GTX 3000 mode-S transponder. Both new products received FAA TSO certification on August 7 and will be fitted on upcoming new jets featuring Garmin G5000 avionics suites, including the Cessna Citation Ten, Latitude and Longitude and Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75. Both also can interface with any Garmin G1000 through G5000 system and so will be available for retrofit programs, according to avionics product manager Bill Stone.