Question: Is ATC actually using ADS-B? I asked a controller to verify that my equipment was operating properly and she told me she did not have that information. How else can I verify that my equipment is operating properly?
Answer: The FAA provides a free, easy way to check your Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) performance. The ADS-B Performance Monitor (APM) captures all the broadcast ADS-B information in U.S. airspace. The APM captures your aircraft’s ADS-B broadcast automatically, every time you fly. To verify the performance of your system, request a Public ADS-B Performance Report (PAPR) after any flight. Make your request by going to: https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/PAPRRequest.aspx.
You may do this anytime, at no cost. The PAPR will identify any erroneous information your equipment broadcasts. You can take the report to your avionics installer who can help rectify any issues. We encourage operators to check the performance of your ADS-B equipment after installation and annually thereafter.
ATC first began using ADS-B at selected sites in the United States in 2010, and the FAA has steadily expanded integration and use throughout the NAS. There are still some TRACONS in the NAS that require modernization to be able to utilize ADS-B, but the FAA is on track to enable ADS-B use at these remaining facilities before the 2020 mandate.
The FAA’s ADS-B network collects your broadcasted ADS-B information and passes it to the ATC automation system. ADS-B data is then combined with other surveillance data (where available), to create a single track of your aircraft for the controller’s display.
ADS-B messages contain many different information elements that are combined and simplified for presentation to ATC in a way that supports their primary mission of maintaining safe separation of aircraft. This simplified presentation tells a controller whether an aircraft is equipped with ADS-B and whether ADS-B is contributing to the presentation. It does not give the controller any insight into how well the ADS-B is performing or if all information elements comply with the requirements of the ADS-B mandate. Therefore, we discourage pilots from asking controllers for ADS-B performance details since this can add to workload and frequency congestion.
Don’t Get Left in the Hangar. Equip Now!
There’s only 23 months remaining before the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out equipage deadline.
For more information, please visit the Equip ADS-B website www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/.