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CASA issues ADS-B exemption

written by WOFA | October 31, 2013
ADS-B station at Woomera. (Airservices)
ADS-B station at Woomera. (Airservices)

CASA has issued a two-year exemption allowing aircraft not equipped with ADS-B transponders to continue operating in airspace above Flight Level 290, a move that will be particularly welcomed by business jet operators.

The mandate for all aircraft to be equipped with ADS-B was due to take effect from December 12 this year, but the exemption will allow limited operations in the ‘J-curve’ of Australian airspace that has radar coverage (along the east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne, and across to Adelaide), as well as exempted oceanic airspace areas. But operators will still need to notify CASA of flight details 14 days in advance.

“Exemption requests for other areas of airspace at and above FL290 where ADS-B is the primary means of surveillance for air traffic management will not be approved,” CASA said in issuing the exemption instrument (CASA EX113/13). “Operators can complete and submit Form 208 to provide CASA with advice on those aircraft which it intends to operate in the exempted airspace without ADS-B. CASA will use the information provided to inform Airservices Australia of the notified aircraft, for use in its Air Traffic Control system.”

The exemption runs from December 12 to December 11 2015.


  • Ben


    Great that CASA realises that some operators hands are tied awaiting OEM’s to catch up. Although Australia is on the bleeding edge with this technology and hence the OEM delays. The USA’s own mandate isn’t until at least 2020.

    However do CASA seriously expect that a long range corp jet cruising at FL400+ inbound from SE Asia will be descended to under FL290? Where is the safety benefit in that? That would actually place it IN conflict WITH all the airliner traffic below these jets are designed to cruise above! Either ATC’s on the boundaries are going to be busy working the traffic down to get them underneath or do we palm this off onto our neighbouring FIR’s? Eitherway it smacks of penalising the non-conformists for no actual benefit, especially when State aircraft are permitted to not comply yet still access the same levels as before!

    Sure ADS-B is safer and more efficient and like RVSM aircraft without it should be afforded less priority. But I find it hard to believe that ATC’s who have been working in this mixed fitout environment for the years since ADS-B was installed are suddenly going to be unable to process non-equipped traffic on December 12. Especially when it may be more beneficial to leave the G550 up at FL430 because they are above everyone else anyway! Why is there no ‘upper’ band like non-RVSM? They still accept non-RVSM aircraft in the RVSM band and RVSM has been around for how long? How’s about finishing that requirement first? More importantly what happens if the ADS-B fails? “I’m sorry but you have to descend”? That’ll make for some interesting and expensive diversions!

    It smells like AsA and CASA are in kahootz to get bonuses for minimising the future radar expenditure!

  • Pete


    Seems like Qantas disposed of the RR 767’s a tad early. They could have been deployed on the J curve after Dec 13 (the usual 767 route anyway)!

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