OPERATIONS OF AIRCRAFT WITHOUT AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE – BROADCAST (ADS-B) OUT IN U.S. ADS-B OUT RULE AIRSPACE (OUTSIDE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES)
Purpose: To describe FAA Air Traffic policy for aircraft operations without Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) in United States sovereign airspace outside of the 48 Contiguous States.
Pursuant to 14 CFR § 91.225, when operating in Class A airspace an aircraft must:
- Meet the performance requirements in TSO-C166b, Extended Squitter Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Traffic Information Service-Broadcast (TIS-B) Equipment Operating on the Radio Frequency of 1090 Megahertz (MHz); and,
- Meet the requirements of 14 CFR § 91.227.
For the purposes of § 91.225, Class A airspace is located within U.S. domestic airspace. U.S. domestic airspace exists over all land mass regions of the U.S. as defined in 14 CFR § 1.1 and includes the States (contiguous and non-contiguous), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the possessions, including the surrounding territorial waters.
Areas beyond 12 nautical miles from the U.S. coastline are considered part of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) airspace. U.S. airspace regulations do not apply in these areas even if the FAA opts to apply domestic air traffic procedures.
Several U.S. territories in the Pacific and Caribbean region have Class A airspace defined over them. Per the Department of the Interior, Insular Affairs Policy Division, the U.S. possessions, or territories, in the Pacific and Caribbean regions include the following:
Caribbean: Navassa Island, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
Pacific: American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Wake Atoll.
For flight operations within the Class A domestic airspace of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands south of latitude North 17 degrees 49 minutes, the FAA notes the following expectations:
- Operators without equipment meeting the performance requirements in TSO-C166b are expected to plan their routes of flight (including alternate airports) around this airspace; and
- Operators without equipment meeting the performance requirements in TSO-C166b should train their flight crews to generally decline a voluntary ATC rerouting through this airspace unless required to safely operate their aircraft (e.g., in-flight emergencies, weather deviations, or diversions, etc.), advising ATC that they are not equipped with appropriate ADS-B avionics. If, however, ATC chooses to proceed with the new routing, the flight crew should accept and execute the clearance.
The remaining locations in the Pacific and Caribbean regions do not have FAA ADS-B or radar coverage at this time. The specific locations within the Pacific and Caribbean regions without coverage are: American Samoa, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Navassa Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands north of latitude North 17 degrees 49 minutes.
In airspace without FAA ADS-B or radar coverage, the FAA cannot provide (and does not provide) Air Traffic Service (ATS) surveillance services. Also, without ADS-B coverage, FAA has no practical means to detect violations of § 91.225. Therefore, until such coverage exists, FAA does not anticipate devoting its resources to identifying non-equipped aircraft briefly traversing these locations without FAA ADS-B or radar coverage.