Some airlines miss ADS-B Jan. 1 deadline

January 6, 2020  - By
Photo: icholakov/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

Photo: icholakov/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

BahamasAir has missed the U.S. deadline for the new ADS-B mandate and is now forbidden from flying certain three of its four jets in United States airspace. The airline said it has adjusted its aircraft deployment accordingly, reports Forbes.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration mandated in 2010 that aircraft be equipped with hardware to use NextGen, a satellite-based air traffic control management system, to replace traditional ground radar technology. This step of the transition requires aircraft to have Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B) capability either at time of manufacture or retrofitted with a kit.

BahamasAir was unable to equip three of its Boeing 737-500s with ADS-B before the Jan. 1 deadline, so those aircraft have been taken off the routes it flies to Florida. It has one 737-700 and five ATR regional airliners that have ADS-B, and is using those aircraft for Florida. It also leased some planes to meet holiday season demands.

The airline says it’s maintaining its full schedule with no changes and the old 737s should be fixed in the next few months. Meanwhile, the agency has granted an exemption to the government of Canada for two of its old airframes.

Canadian  Changes

The Royal Canadian Air Force operates four Challenger 601 business jets to take government and military officials on shorter flights in the U.S. and Canada. Two of those jets are too old to receive the ADS-B upgrade, so the FAA has said it will be allowed into U.S. airspace but may not get the most convenient routing from air traffic control, according to AVWeb. The FAA does have a process to waive the ADS-B requirement, but it has warned that the exemptions will be issued only under exceptional circumstances.

On Jan. 2, an Air Canada flight leaving Saint John was forced to avoid United States airspace on Thursday and take a longer path to Toronto, avoiding flying over Maine because of the mandate, reports the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. The change in flight pattern added roughly 20 minutes to the trip. Air Canada won’t speculate if the longer flight path and extended travel time will happen again.

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.