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LABACE: Pending mandates highlight ADS-B solutions for Latin America

Rockwell Collins is highlighting satellite-based navigation solutions in Brazil during LABACE as private aircraft owners in the Latin American region begin to reckon with a wave of pending mandates.

The US government’s 2020 deadline for compliance with the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) mandate is the primary issue for Brazillian owners of large business jets, says Bejamin Gambrell, senior marketing manager for Collins’ commercial systems division in Canada and Latin America.

For Brazil’s largest business jets and even some turboprops based in the northeast, access to controlled airspace in the US is a requirement, so the ADS-B mandate to equip is a near-term necessity, Gabrell says. Many owners are waiting for scheduled maintenance checks in 2018 and 2019 to install the required ADS-B equipment, which include a new transponder, he says.

Meanwhile, Latin American governments with the largest privately-owned fleets, including Brazil, are also coming to terms with similar mandates for satellite-based air traffic surveillance.

Indeed, Brazil, which boasts Latin America’s second-largest privately-owned fleet, has mandated ADS-B equipment since 2015 for all helicopters flying to offshore oil drilling platforms in the Campos Basin about 60nm east of Rio de Janeiro. Private aircraft owners expect the government to consider applying the mandate more widely to Brazil’s terrestrial airspace in the near future, Gambrell says.

Other Latin American governments have already moved to establish ADS-B mandates. Colombia, for example, has published a final rule with a mandate to equip by 1 January 2020, the same as the US Federal Aviation Administration, Gambrell says. Mexico, with the largest privately owned aircraft fleet in Latin America, has published a draft rule with a proposed deadline of 1 January 2020, he adds.

Some differences exist within the mandates. As the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency are split on a requirement for using an augmented GPS signal, so are Latin American governments. The Colombian government follows the EASA approach, with no requirement for the costly augmented GPS technology, Gambrell says. Mexico’s draft rule adheres closer to the US mandate, including the augmented GPS requirement, he says.

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