Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is seeking industry feedback on the country's proposed automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) programme. The move precedes the expected release of a notice of proposed rulemaking on ADS-B equipage next April, writes Emma Kelly.

Australia has already committed to an upper airspace ADS-B programme - above flight level 300 (30,000ft) - but CASA is asking for feedback relating to a proposal to mandate ADS-B in the lower airspace by 2009.

CASA is seeking input on four options - to facilitate the use of ADS-B to support voluntary carriage; improve safety with radar/transponder; encourage voluntary ADS-B equipage; and require ADS-B equipage.

ADS-B offers significant safety and economic benefits, including an expected reduction in controlled flight into terrain accidents; improved en-route terminal area and surface operations safety, and search-and-rescue operations; and use as an accident investigation resource.

CASA believes maximum safety benefits are unlikely to be achieved without legislation, and a staged implementation - between 2005 and 2012 - would be the best approach. CASA concedes, however, that widespread fitment will be costly and a subsidy scheme is key to light aircraft equipage.

The purchase and installation cost for a general aviation aircraft is expected to be around A$8,000 ($6,100), with industry-wide installation costs of about A$88 million.

The Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group (ASTRA) - the country's ATM planning group - is finalising details of a subsidy scheme for installing ADS-B equipment on aircraft up to 5,700kg. The scheme is likely to cost between A$50 million and A$100 million.


Source: Flight International