Canada Considers Making 406-mHz ELTs Mandatory for Airspace Use

As of February 1 next year, you might need a 406-megaHertz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) to operate in Canadian airspace, regardless of where your aircraft is registered. As of that date, search and rescue satellites will cease to scan for older 121.5-megaHertz ELTs. The FAA has left it up to pilots whether or not they want to operate with or without the new 406-mHz equipment, but Transport Canada is considering making them mandatory. The president of the Canadian Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has resisted the move, claiming that all ELTs, new or old, are a flawed solution since the equipment or antennas are often damaged in an accident and mountains often obscure signals anyway. He suggests that the coming of ADS-B will render old and new ELTs obsolete, since the ADS-B system would monitor all aircraft anyway.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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