CAA pro­poses new elec­tronic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion de­vices for GA

Pilot - - NOTES -

Pro­pos­als for how GA air­craft and airspace users in un­con­trolled UK airspace can use low-cost and low-power elec­tronic con­spicu­ity de­vices to make them­selves more vis­i­ble to each other have been re­leased by the CAA in CAP 1391 Elec­tronic Con­spicu­ity. ‘Any move to make air­craft more vis­i­ble is an aid to safety,’ says the Author­ity. ‘In the UK there are no re­quire­ments for light air­craft fly­ing out­side con­trolled airspace to carry any form of elec­tronic de­vice, such as a transpon­der. And there are no cur­rent plans to man­date such equip­ment in un­con­trolled airspace. In some cases transpon­ders may add too much additional weight and have un­re­al­is­tic power re­quire­ments for cer­tain air­craft.’ New plans set out an in­dus­try stan­dard for equip­ment based on low-cost, light­weight Au­to­matic Depen­dant Surveil­lance-broad­cast (ADS-B) tech­nol­ogy.

The stan­dards have been drawn up by the GA com­mu­nity and the CAA through an elec­tronic con­spicu­ity work­ing group and build on work that was chaired by AOPA Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Martin Robin­son, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from other key GA or­gan­i­sa­tions also ad­vis­ing. Clair Muir, CAA Man­ager of Safety Pro­grammes, said: “We are aim­ing to make it sig­nif­i­cantly eas­ier and cheaper for pi­lots to be able to elec­tron­i­cally show other air­craft their po­si­tion by turn­ing the ‘see and avoid’ con­cept into ‘see, be seen and avoid’. The goal is to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment which en­cour­ages more pi­lots to equip their air­craft with a de­vice vol­un­tar­ily. If that hap­pens, then we hope to see a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of midair col­li­sions and Air­prox in­ci­dents.”

The CAA is con­sult­ing with man­u­fac­tur­ers on a new process to re­move reg­u­la­tory bar­ri­ers, mak­ing it eas­ier for them to build a range of de­vices. Once the process is run­ning, man­u­fac­tur­ers will be re­quired to make a dec­la­ra­tion to the CAA that their de­vice meets the stan­dard in or­der for it to be used legally on board an air­craft. The ad­min­is­tra­tion charge for dec­la­ra­tion has been waived in the scheme’s first year.

A list of cur­rent dec­la­ra­tions will be pub­lished on the CAA web­site. It is then the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the air­craft op­er­a­tor to en­sure that the de­vice has a valid dec­la­ra­tion and can be used on board. The draft process can be viewed at: caa.co.uk/cap1391

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