Starting January 1, 2020, you must be equipped with ADS-B Out to fly in most controlled airspace. Any airspace that requires a transponder today will also require ADS-B Out on January 1, 2020. However, the FAA has granted an exemption for some air transport category aircraft. It’s Exemption 12555. In early 2015, the Airlines for America (A4A) petitioned the FAA for an exemption. They claimed there were not enough navigation receivers available for transport category until closer to 2020. If you operate a transport category aircraft, you may qualify for Exemption 12555.
Exemption 12555 will be in effect until December 31, 2024, as long as there is backup surveillance available (i.e. radar or multilateration). Transport category aircraft can continue to operate in ADS-B airspace by broadcasting position information using TSO-C129 or TSO-C196 GPS receivers. Unlike the TSO-C145/146 GPS receivers using the Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) also known as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), TSO-C129 & TSO-C196 GPS variants are susceptible to position inaccuracies. This occurs when a number of satellites are out of service or out of range. SBAS do not have this problem. SBAS receivers meet the ADS-B performance requirements all of the time.
To apply for Exemption 12555, each operator must notify the FAA of their intent to comply with the conditions and limitations of the exemption by August 1, 2018. They must develop and submit a detailed plan to the FAA. The particular circumstances and limitations are contained in Exemption 12555.
For aircraft to be upgraded the plan must include:
- The manufacturer, model, and part number, applicable Service Bulletin, or supplemental type certificate (STC) of the new or upgraded GPS/Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver that will replace the existing certified GPS position source
- The update schedule
- Interim fleet milestones, (e.g., initial installation; 30%, 80%, 100% completion
For aircraft to be retired the plan must include:
- The operator’s plan for operations beyond the expiration of this exemption (e.g., date of planned aircraft retirement).
In sum, Exemption 12555 does not grant relief from the requirement to carry ADS-B Out equipment but allows the temporarily use current GPS receivers. Exemption 12555 is intended to address the performance characteristics associated with certain GPS receivers generally found in air transport aircraft.
Most all other aircraft categories are required to be equipped with ADS-B Out in the USA by January 1, 2020.
For more information regarding Exemption 12555 go to http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/exemption/
Return to Resource Center