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ERA meets with European Commission on ADS-B

ERA met with the Director of Aviation, Filip Cornelis at DG-MOVE last week to discuss the upcoming ADS-B mandate and the obstacles to compliance that our members are faced with. The European Commission is holding a workshop on 4 July and it is critical that decisions are made before the event so that stakeholders can be properly guided with respect to implementation.

Following a survey that ERA disseminated to members on behalf of the SESAR Deployment Manager, tasked with the role of monitoring ADS-B compliance before the 7 June 2020 deadline, as well as a report produced by EASA following the work of the Surveillance Performance Interoperability revision Rule Making Task Group late last year, the European Commission will hold a workshop to discuss ADS-B and other SPI related issues in Brussels on 4 July 2018. The outcome of the meeting is however unclear and ERA is determined that following the presentation of the conclusions of these two important documents, a decisive plan is necessary to ensure that EU Commercial Air Transport Operators are completely clear as to precisely where they stand with respect to ADS-B compliance.

Although the SDM report is not yet in the public domain, it is widely believed that the data collected is sufficient to demonstrate that a longer period for proper deployment is necessary for airspace users to retrofit existing aircraft or alternatively plan to phase out older types that are expected to be withdrawn from service in the next few years – aircraft that would see no benefit from ADS-B on the basis that they fly in the core EU airspace with more than sufficient secondary surveillance radar coverage. Coupled with provision for Air Navigation Service Providers to comprehensively plan implementation of ground stations and time for validation of data from those aircraft that will meet the mandate, a transition period with the possibility of exemptions for aircraft that are either due to be retired or are technically too difficult or disproportionately expensive to retrofit would be sensible from the point of view of many ERA members.

The meeting, also attended by Nicolas Warinsko, Managing Director and Mariagrazia La Piscopia, Head of Strategy, Technical and Operations SESAR Deployment Manager was open and frank and the views of ERA members were listened to, acknowledged and most importantly, apparently accepted as valuable. Our understanding is that the outcome of the 4 July workshop will be to provide stakeholders with a clear understanding of what will now happen and we shall continue to promote a transitional period beyond 2020 as well as exemptions on behalf of ERA members to the political and technical stakeholders in this hugely important issue leading up to and during the event.