Eurocontrol is warning airspace users that the transition period for fitting Mode S secondary surveillance radar transponders for flight in "the core area of Europe" ends soon, and the equippage rate is lagging. Airborne equipment compliance with Mode S Elementary Surveillance becomes compulsory in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland on 31 March 2005, and 15,000 aircraft are affected, says the air navigation services agency.

At a seminar at its Brussels headquarters, Eurocontrol and its member states reviewed the progress of Mode S deployment, the aim of which is improved real-time surveillance accuracy and integrity with an improved display update rate.

Meanwhile, says Eurocontrol, areas of terminal and en route airspace in France, Germany and the UK will adopt Mode S Enhanced Surveillance, with the two-year transition period for compliance starting in late March next year.

Eurocontrol Mode S programme manager Pascal Dias says Mode S is necessary for air traffic service providers to improve the quality of service they can offer. He will be monitoring the progressive airline fleet equipment and has set up an online system for the carriers to register the status of each of the 15,000 affected aircraft.

The enhanced Mode S automatically datalinks more information about each aircraft to controllers than is possible with the existing Mode C, and it enables clearances to be datalinked direct to cockpit displays, uncluttering the voice frequencies and automatically datalinking more information about each aircraft to controllers.


Source: Flight International