ADS-B Required In U.S. Wednesday

Mandatory equipage with ADS-B Out goes into effect for most controlled airspace in the U.S. Jan. 1. Although there are no official figures being kept, it would appear only a small minority of Canadian civil aircraft have added the equipment. Even the Canadian military has been caught short and many of its planes are not technically legal to fly in ADS-B airspace after Wednesday. The U.S. did grant an exemption to two RCAF Challenger executive transport aircraft which routinely shuttle politicians and government officials to the U.S. because they’re considered too old for the addition of the gear.

The rest of Canadian operators are left with a technological conundrum because if they spend the money to add ADS-B equipment to satisfy the U.S. mandate, it’s likely the devices won’t comply with Canadian rules for ADS-B that Nav Canada is hoping will be implemented in the next few years. Nav Canada wants to use spaced-based ADS-B that will require top and bottom mounted antennas while the U.S. system uses ground stations and only requires bottom mounted antennas so most of the available equipment is designed that way. There is no firm timeline for ADS-B equipage in Canada and Nav Canada is now working with Transport Canada to create the regulatory framework.