WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced in the Federal Register its policy for issuing air traffic control (ATC) authorizations to persons seeking to operate aircraft that are not equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment in ADS-B airspace after Jan. 1, 2020.
The policy statement merely implements a provision in the 2010 rule regarding ATC authorizations and does not create any new requirement or burden on operators.
The ADS-B Out final rule issued in 2010 requires aircraft flying in certain controlled airspace to be equipped with ADS-B avionics that meet the prescribed performance standards after Jan. 1, 2020.
In issuing the rule, the agency recognized that operators who do not routinely operate in the specified airspace might need to do so on rare occasions. ATC authorizations to deviate from the equipage requirement were established in the regulation to address these instances. These per-operation authorizations are not intended to support routine operations of non-equipped aircraft in airspace covered by the rule. The FAA noted in the final rule that authorizations would be considered on a case-by-case basis and might not be granted in all instances. 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.
The FAA does not plan to grant authorization requests for routine flights from scheduled operators seeking to fly non-equipped aircraft in rule airspace.
Operators who want to fly in airspace covered by the rule but are not equipped with ADS-B Out avionics must request and obtain preflight authorization. The request must be made at least one hour before the proposed operation. An operator who flies a non-equipped aircraft in ADS-B airspace without obtaining a preflight authorization will be presumed in violation of the regulations.
The agency will not issue in-flight authorizations to operators of non-equipped aircraft, and ATC facilities will not accept requests for authorizations by telephone. An ATC clearance does not constitute an authorization.
If an authorization request is not approved prior to departure, the operator should assume the authorization is denied. It is highly unlikely that authorizations will be approved for airspace at busy airports where capacity is constrained. Other reasons for which authorizations may not be granted include workload, runway configurations, air traffic flows and weather conditions.
For more information on ADS-B, visit: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/programs/adsb/.
For information on the FAA’s ADS-B rebate program for general aviation, visit: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/rebate/.