By Bruce Williams
ADS-B out capability is now required in most of the airspace around Puget Sound (see the FAA graphic below to understand where the mandate applies). Fortunately, the Galvin fleet is equipped, or will be as soon the remaining aircraft return from avionics shops.
As the rules became effective, FAA published a new advisory circular, AC 90-114B – Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Operations, to help clarify several operational matters, including:
4.1 General Operating Procedures
4.2 Operator Familiarity of the Installed ADS-B System
4.3 ADS-B Equipment Operations (U.S. Airspace)
4.4 Flight Plans (FP)
4.5 Preflight Requirements (U.S. Airspace)
Section 4.4 about filing flight plans, especially IFR flight plans in the required ICAO format, is particularly important. It points out key items that must be correct to keep the ATC computer happy. If, like most pilots today, you use an app such as ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, or FlyQ for preflight briefings and to file flight plans, the process isn’t as daunting as FAA publications and the ICAO flight plan form can make it seem. Enter and save the particulars for each aircraft that you fly once, and you’re finished with the details.
(You can also find more information about equipment codes for ICAO flight plans at my blog, here.)
You must also be aware of the ADS-B requirements even if you typically operate outside the so-called rule airspace where ADS-B out is required.
For example, in our area Arlington (KAWO), Olympia (KOLM), and Shelton (KSHN) lie outside ADS-B airspace. But if you fly instrument approaches to those airports, you will enter rule airspace, even if only briefly while flying a transition or feeder route or missed approach. ATC cannot grant exemptions that allow you to fly those procedures even under VFR (except by prior arrangement via the FAA ADAPT online tool).
The graphic below show the approach chart for the ILS RWY 17 at KOLM. Note that the final approach course begins inside the Mode C veil for the Seattle Class B airspace, where ADS-B out capability is required.
Become familiar the new ADS-B Mandate and the equipment installed on the aircraft you fly. Thorough pre-flight preparation will assist in compliance and improve situational awareness.