The BAe 146/Avro RJ has been certiied for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast out (ADS-B Out) operations, ahead of the looming deadline for complying with the new regulatory requirement.
The US Federal Aviation Administration has mandated ADS-B compliance by January 1, 2020, and the European Aviation Safety Agency for June 7, 2020. ADS-B technology determines an aircraft’s position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked without the need for any action from the pilot or from air traic control.
New aircraft are line-it with ADS-B Out compatibility during production, but there is clearly a requirement to modify older airframes to ensure they comply. In August, EASA issued Approval Certiicate 10066079 for a major change modiication for BAe 146/ Avro RJ-family regional jets. BAE Systems Regional Aircraft at Prestwick completed the engineering and installation of an ADS-B Out modiication on two Avro RJs belonging to two separate, undisclosed operators, which led EASA to award the approval.
On the back of the clearance, the Irish regional airline CityJet, the largest single operator of Avro RJs in Europe, with 13 in service, placed an order with BAE for modiication kits covering its leet.
Upgrades will be undertaken whilst aircraft are in maintenance and the installation will be carried out either by the operators themselves or their designated maintenance organisation. BAE will supply the approved information, the service bulletin and the modiication kit. Kit deliveries will be planned in line with the aircraft’s existing maintenance schedule.
Following the EASA award, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is now investigating obtaining FAA and Transport Canada validation of its ADS-B Out modiication for operators of BAe 146s/Avro RJs in those jurisdictions. This would be a particularly important move, given the large stock of these aircraft operating in the United States and Canada as freighters or aerial ireighting aircraft. The company is also working to ensure all European operators, as well as non-European operators that fly into European airspace, are equipped with the ADS-B modiication by the EASAmandated date.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is EASA Part 21G and Part 21J approved, which means the company can engineer and arrange the installation of ADS-B upgrades to other aircraft types, not just legacy BAE types. The company said it is “currently evaluating solutions for other aircraft platforms”. Mark Broadbent