U.S. Finalizes Standards for ADS-B

The RTCA has approved technical and operational standards for equipment to be used in automatic dependent surveillance — broadcast (ADS-B), a critical component of the NextGen air traffic system. RTCA is a joint committee that makes recommendations to the FAA, whose final rule on ADS-B equipment standards is expected in April. What last week's RTCA ruling means, directly, is that avionics manufacturers now have greater confidence in what the FAA will require of on board equipment to be needed by the target implementation date in 2020. Specifically, the approval pertains to minimum operational performance standards (MOPS). The standards as set by RTCA are consistent with European requirements. Flying Editor-in-Chief J. Mac McClellan (who is in the process of an avionics upgrade in his own airplane) said, "This is an important step in the process, and it certainly gives manufacturers a lot of confidence to move ahead with the design of their products."