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FAA: GA Pilots Not Required to Verify ADS-B Coverage in Preflight

July 18, 2019 - The FAA issued a clarification of part of a policy statement published last week regarding preflight verification of ADS-B coverage. The policy statement answers several lingering questions on ADS-B Out performance. It assures operators that GPS interference that degrades ADS-B accuracy will not be considered a violation of FAA rules, while reminding pilots that continued operation with a known deficiency in the aircraft's ADS-B system may indeed constitute a violation.

Confusing to many pilots, however, was a note in the policy referring to an FAA tool on ADS-B coverage, and a requirement to verify coverage along the intended route of flight for some operators. The clarification published today notes that this requirement only applies to aircraft not equipped with WAAS GPS position sources. All GA ADS-B systems use WAAS, so this preflight requirement does not apply to any general aviation aircraft. Some airliners are currently operating non-WAAS systems under an exemption.

"Discussion of ADS-B requirements has a tendency to become very technical very quickly," said Tom Charpentier, EAA government relations director. "This clarification was necessary to alleviate some very understandable confusion in the GA community. The bottom line is that operators with correctly installed and operating ADS-B systems may continue to fly in the airspace with no additional concerns or requirements — as they would with an ordinary Mode C transponder."

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