Space based ADS-B enabling operations in the NAT region

13 Feb 2020 – As of AIRAC 02/2020, effective from 30 January 2020, a special provision is in place in Shanwick Oceanic whereby ADS-B capable aircraft are allowed to operate on two high demand routes even if they do not carry FANS1/A datalink equipment. The progressive implementation of the ICAO datalink mandate in the NAT region requires datalink equipment to be carried at most tracks in higher cruising flight levels.

However, the majority of EU-based operators decided to fit their short to mid-range aircraft with the ATN variant of the datalink, also known as FANS 2/B, as required by DLS IR. Parallel installations of FANS 1/A and FANS 2/B, also known as the dual stack installation, have only recently become commercially available for some aircraft types and remain in development for others. As a result, oceanic airspace where FANS 1/A is mandated becomes unavailable to such aircraft.

To enable the shortest possible flightpath between UK and Spain with such airplanes, Shanwick Oceanic introduced a special provision on two parallel routes, southbound T9 and northbound T290, which run north-south along the western edge of Bay of Biscay. Thanks to the implementation of Space Based ADS-B, Shanwick can use ADS-B for surveillance even if FANS 1/A is not carried, allowing the operators to file and fly on these two routes at the usual cruising levels. Since this operation takes place in Oceanic airspace, the older DO-260 standard is sufficient in terms of aircraft equipage.

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