Australia enacts new GNSS requirements for aviation

February 18, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has implemented a GNSS equipment mandate for all aircraft flying in the country, regardless of state of registry. The mandate is designed to align Australian operations with global standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM).

The changes include the requirement that all aircraft operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) must now be equipped with GNSS avionics meeting TSO C129, which enables compliance with Required Navigation Performance (RNP) 1 terminal area and RNP 2 continental en route operations that begin May 26.

GNSS is the enabling technology for both performance-based navigation (PBN) and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) in Australia and will affect all IFR aircraft. Applying both PBN and ADS-B over the whole of Australia will permit:

  • Increased safety as air traffic control surveillance will be available over the whole of Australia at higher levels, and with substantial coverage at lower levels.
  • Flexi-route—a system that optimizes aircraft routes according to the latest weather and location of other aircraft
  • Reduced separation distances, greater fuel efficiency, lower flight times and reduced congestion at busy aerodromes.

To help foreign-registered aircraft operators in meeting the new requirements, transition arrangements are available for a two-year period. Operators who need the extension must complete an online form before their first flight in Australia on or after May 26.

To facilitate RNP operations within Australia, CASA has developed an acceptable means of compliance document.

The GNSS mandate will see ground-based navigation capability reduced by about 50 percent, with the decommissioning of about 190 ground-based navaids. The remaining network of navaids will form the GNSS backup navigation network.

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