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Update on ADS-B “Out” for Canadians

June 2017 - Automatic dependent surveillance broadcast “out” (ADS-B “out”) will be required in the United States to fly in controlled airspace beginning January 1, 2020 (only two and a half years from now). It will not be a requirement in Canada at that time, but any aircraft planning on flying through Class A, B, or C or above 10,000 feet in the United States will be required to have ADS-B out. It will also be mandated for European airspace for all aircraft beginning June 7, 2020.

The notable points of where you must have ADS-B out are:

(1) Class B and Class C airspace areas.

(2) Except as provided for in paragraph (e) of this section (gliders and balloons essentially — Ed.), within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 to this part, from the surface upward to 10,000 feet MSL (those airports are the major international airports and some military airports — Ed.).

(3) Above the ceiling and within the lateral boundaries of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport upward to 10,000 feet MSL (note that up to 10,000 feet over Class B and C is contiguous with the requirement for ADS-B out for all airspace above 10,000 feet — Ed.).

(4) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, Class E airspace within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia at and above 10,000 feet MSL, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the surface.

(5) Class E airspace at and above 3,000 feet MSL over the Gulf of Mexico from the coastline of the United States out to 12 nautical miles.

So, the way I read it, you can fly without ADS-B out in Class E, below 10,000 feet if you stay at least 30 nautical miles away from airports in appendix D and you stay out of all Class B or C airspace. You could also fly above 10,000 feet over a mountain pass if you were within 2,500 feet of ground level. One significant problem would be for aircraft presently used to flying directly over major airports with only a Mode C transponder. It’s often the fastest, most direct route to get to where you’re going and less likely to get involved in heavy traffic.

You can read the full regulation online.

For special one-off requests it may be possible for Canadians to fly, for example to KOSH, through en route Class C airspace. Oshkosh itself is Class D. The pilot would have to make the request to ATC one hour before the operation. The FAA website has the following paragraph:

“Under the above conditions, an aircraft operator may request to deviate from the ADS-B rule on a case-by-case basis. The ATC facility with jurisdiction of the applicable airspace has discretionary authority to determine whether accommodations for non-ADS-B equipped aircraft can be made. ATC has the authority to deny such requests when deemed appropriate.”

Oh, and that item about the Gulf of Mexico — you snowbirds need to remember to stay below 3,000 feet when you’re cruising the coastline.

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