27 Jun 2019 New Southern Sky visits the US NextGen Programme

In early June, New Southern Sky director Steve Smyth travelled to Washington DC to meet with counterparts from the United States’ equivalent of the NSS programme.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen is a $40 billion program to modernise the United States’ air transport system, and to increase the safety, efficiency, capacity, predictability and resiliency of American aviation.

A cornerstone NextGen project is the ADS-B mandate – all aircraft operating in American airspace which currently requires the use of a Mode C transponder must be equipped with ADS-B Out by January 1, 2020.

While in Washington, Steve was able to see the EQUIP 2020 effort up close – taking part in Working Group and plenary sessions with aviation stakeholders from across the country.

Steve said it was fantastic to see first-hand the outreach work the EQUIP 2020 team had been leading to get the sector involved in the moves to ADS-B implementation.

The EQUIP campaign had a significant focus on safety benefits for participants, and this approach was worth looking at for New Zealand too.

 “There are now nearly 80,000 aircraft equipped with ADS-B in the US and recorded as ‘good installs’ by the ATC system,” he said.

“I was impressed by the number of people who had flown with and remarked on the situational awareness benefits of ADS-B IN and how it had helped support good airmanship decisions.

There is no doubt in my mind that ADS-B IN can be a significant additional safety factor for those in our GA community that choose to equip.”

Steve was also able to visit the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) while in Washington, and spoke with their Vice President of Government Affairs, Melissa Rudinger.

AOPA is a strong advocate of ADS-B in the US and is represented in the EQUIP 2020 stakeholder group.

Steve said he was struck by the positive contribution AOPA had been making to the equipage campaign and how it was advocating for its membership to go beyond mandate requirements to gain the safety benefits of ADS-B IN.

Above. Co-chair of EQUIP 2020, Jens Hennig, Vice President Operations General Aviation Manufacturers’ Association (GAMA) addresses EQUIP 2020 members at the RTCA offices in Washington DC, 6 June 2019.

Need to Equip with ADS-B here in New Zealand?

If you are considering the options for equipping with ADS-B, please a take a quick look at the ADS-B website to find out more information on equipment standards, avionics techs and more.