FAA Releases ADS-B Final Rule

REFERENCE: May 28, 2010 Federal Register

SUMMARY: On May 28, 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration published the long-awaited ADS-B final rule.

MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS: This final rule establishes equipage and airspace requirements and performance standards for Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out.  The rule does not address ADS-B In.

Equipment:  Operators will have two options for equipage under this rule—the 1090 megahertz (MHz) extended squitter (ES) broadcast link or the Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) broadcast link. Generally, this equipment will be required for aircraft operating in Classes A, B, and C airspace, certain Class E airspace, and other specified airspace.

This final rule requires aircraft flying at and above 18,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) Class A airspace to have ADS–B Out performance capabilities using the 1090 MHz ES broadcast link. This rule also specifies that aircraft flying in the designated airspace below 18,000 feet MSL may use either the 1090 MHz ES or UAT broadcast link.

Airspace: This final rule prescribes ADS–B Out performance requirements for all aircraft operating in Class A, B, and C airspace within the NAS; above the ceiling and within the lateral boundaries of a Class B or Class C airspace area up to 10,000 feet MSL; and Class E airspace areas at or above 10,000 feet MSL over the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the surface.

The rule also requires that aircraft meet these performance requirements in the airspace within 30 nautical miles of certain identified airports that are among the nation’s busiest (based on annual passenger enplanements, annual airport operations count and operational complexity) from the surface up to 10,000 feet MSL. In addition, the rule requires that aircraft meet ADS–B Out performance requirements to operate in Class E airspace over the Gulf of Mexico at and above 3,000 feet MSL within 12 NM of the coastline of the U.S.


During the first review of the proposal it appears that the FAA listened to the comments received during the public comment period.  The AEA is cautiously optimistic that the Agency has finalized a reasonable rule.  The next step in the process will be to review the installation requirements to be published in the near future as an Advisory Circular.

Contact Ric Peri, vice president of government & industry affairs for AEA, by email at ricp@aea.net or by phone at 202-589-1144.