Europe’s regionals resisting equipage deadline

Europe’s regional airlines are resisting 2018 equipage deadlines forcing them to upgrade to enhanced Mode S and ADS-B ‘OUT’ avionics.

In pursuit of a common infrastructure across Europe, the European Commission has mandated that EU air operators equip their aircraft with new avionics hardware to allow them to continue flying in European airspace.

Newly published advice on the current and planned avionics fitment required for aircraft operating in European airspace from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) outlines mandated equipage requirements, including how the regulations evolved and a timeline for implementation.

ERA however is insisting that Mode S and ADS-B ‘OUT’ avionics technologies are ‘significantly more difficult for many regional aircraft operators due to the electronics architecture of the aircraft and for many operators’.

ERA added that, “there are no clear cost benefits for the adoption of enhanced Mode S – few operators will meet the current 2018 mandate in time and ERA is actively supporting a delay until 2020.”

ERA said it is helping to revise EASA’s Surveillance, Performance and Interoperability (SPI) Implementing Regulation whose aim is to provide greater clarity to the airline community, establish a realistic timeframe for implementation of airborne requirements and define a framework for the development of ground-based ADS-B infrastructure.

“However, in some cases, the systems have been found not to be sufficiently technologically mature and operators are being required to retrofit aircraft that were not designed to accommodate significant adjustments to their electronics and avionics architecture,” said ERA.

The mandate for retrofit compliance is currently under review and ERA is taking part in EASA’s SPI Rulemaking Task Group, a small team of experts responsible for providing the European Commission with a more comprehensive approach to ADS-B integration.

 

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