Russia moves towards mandatory datalink equipage

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Russia aims to equip 4,500 aircraft with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) datalink systems over the next decade as it strives to base virtually its entire surveillance capability on the pioneering concept.

Authorities have already started to set up five ADS-B ground stations in the Tyumen region of Russia under the programme’s initial ‘Phase Zero’ to be completed next year.

Russia will extend this coverage from 2003 to 2005 to concentrate on ADS-B surveillance of international routes above 9,000m (29,000ft) altitude, particularly trans-Siberian and even transpolar tracks.

The final stage will involve covering the rest of the country by 2010, with ADS-B cutover in lower airspace, below 8,100m (27,000ft), commencing in the Tyumen region as early as 2007. Overall, Russia plans to deploy 114 ADS-B ground stations.

Speaking at the Southern Ring states ADS-B demonstration this week, Russian State Aviation Research Institute GosNII Aeronavigatsia ADS project chief Ivan Alipov said that Russian authorities were keen to ensure that airlines played their part in keeping the ambitious project on schedule.

He says: “[State air traffic management regulation chief] Leonid Shcherbakov has the intention to issue restrictions to force airlines to equip.”

He adds that these would probably initially be “soft measures” offering incentives to equip but suggests that tougher regulations could see non-compliant airlines banned from Russian airspace.

ATI acknowledges the assistance of British Mediterranean Airways (BMA) in visiting the Southern Ring states. BMA serves Baku, Bishkek, Tbilisi and Yerevan from London.