Airservices has commissioned two new Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations, bringing to 61 the number now in operation across Australia.
The two new ADS-B ground stations, at Point Lookout near Coffs Harbour and Mount Hardgrave on North Stradbroke Island, will provide a backup to the radar surveillance in the region and enhance the high-level coverage for air traffic from Lord Howe Island to Sydney and Brisbane.
Over the next three years Airservices will install a further 15 ADS-B ground stations to provide additional surveillance coverage at lower altitudes and extend higher level coverage offshore.
With the first ADS-B mandate coming into effect on December 12, more than 90 per cent of airline and charter aircraft have already been fitted with the technology. Airservices reports it is also seeing more than 94 per cent of flights at or above 29,000ft in the Australian flight information region operating with ADS-B capability.
However, more than 100 corporate aircraft have yet to be fitted with the necessary equipment, forcing CASA to issue a conditional two-year exemption for some operators along the east coast.
The next key milestone for the transition to ADS-B will occur on February 6 when CASA regulations will require all new Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) aircraft registrations in Australia to be ADS-B capable, if they are undertaking an IFR flight, as well as all new transponder installations in older IFR aircraft needing to be ADS-B capable.
Two years later all IFR aircraft operating within 500nm to the north and east of Perth are required to be fitted with ADS-B. Then by January 6 2017, all Australian registered IFR aircraft flying within Australia’s airspace, are required to operate using ADS-B.