PT 7 M minute read
ADS-B 2021

With space-based ADS-B now being used in areas such as the North Atlantic, controllers can see aircraft live in areas of the world using non-radar procedures since the dawn of aviation.  The airspace in which an aircraft can operate without ADS-B equipment is becoming increasingly thin and will continue to shrink over the next few years.

The following is an overview of what ADS-B is, which countries already require ADS-B, and those who have upcoming mandates:

1. Understand ADS-B

ADS stands for “Automatic Dependent Surveillance” – a surveillance capability used for tracking aircraft. There are two commonly recognized types of ADS: ADS-B (broadcast) and ADS-C (ContRact). ADS-C is broadcast on a one-to-one relationship between the reporting aircraft and the ground facility. On the other hand, ADS-B operates in a broadcast mode. The aircraft reports position and ground speed information regularly and at a much higher frequency than for ADS-C. The advantage of ADS-B is that any appropriately equipped ground facility, or other aircraft, can intercept position reports.

2. United States

ADS-B is required when operating overall 48 continuous states, within airspace at or above FL 100 (excluding airspace from 2,500 ft AGL). At or below FL100 ADS-B will be required; 1) While operating within class B or C airspace. 2) While operating within 12NM of the coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, at or above 3,000 ft MSL.

ADS-B is now required when operating overall 48 continuous states, within airspace at or above FL 100 (excluding airspace from 2,500 ft. AGL). At or below FL100 ADS-B will be required:

  1. While operating within class B or C airspace.
  2. While operating within 12NM of the coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, at or above 3,000 ft. MSL.

Requirements for areas outside the 48 Contiguous States can be found in the FAA Notices to Airmen.

For more details, please read through these references: FAA ADS-B14 CFR 91.225 | 14 CFR 91.227 | FAA Final Rule | Airspace

ADS-B for 2019

ADS-B Exemption

ADS-B is required when operating over the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2020. However, aircraft without the necessary ADS-B capabilities can still operate in U.S. airspace with a single-use route deviation authorization obtained through the FAA’s ADS-B Deviation Authorization Pre-Flight Tool (ADAPT).

To accommodate requests for authorization to deviate from this rule, the web-based tool known as ADAPT was created. As stated in an FAA policy statement (84 Federal Register 12062 dated April 1, 2019), ADAPT is not intended to be used for regular or routine operations by non-equipped aircraft, and your use of ADAPT appears to be regular and/or routine.).

Suppose the FAA denies your requests due to regular and/or routine use. In that case, a one-time authorization may be requested for actual ADS-B equipment installation or ferry of aircraft. 

ADAPT facts:

  • Applies to U.S. airspace route segments only
  • Only valid for a single route
  • Applications can be submitted 24 hrs. to 1 hr. in advance of departure
  • Authorizations are only valid within a +2 hour window of approved ETD

Universal is now supporting operators with turnkey FAA ADAPT ADS-B Exemption support. For more information on this service, contact our Global Regulatory Services Team.

3. Australia

ADS-B is required for all IFR operations at all flight levels over continental Australia, the Arafura Sea (bounded on the north by airway B598), the Great Australian Bight (bounded on the south by airway Q27/L513), and the Bass Strait (bounded on the east by airway H20 and to the southwest by L513). More information can be found on AIP GEN 1.5 | CAO 20.18, 82.1, 82.3, and 82.5 | CASA 61/14

4. Europe

ADS-B is mandated for all aircraft.  Requirements apply only to instrument flight rule (IFR) flights and only for aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 5700 kg (12,566 lbs.) or greater and/or max cruising true airspeed (TAS) greater than 250 knots (kts).

Transitional Phase

The transitional phase ends on June 7th, 2023.  During this period, an aircraft can be exempt from the mandate based on one of the following.

  • The first individual Certificate of Airworthiness was issued on or after June 7th, 1995 and before December 7th, 2020 and
  • The operator has established a retrofit program prior to December 7th, 2020 that demonstrates compliance prior to June 7th, 2023 (Reference EU No 1207/2011, Article 5, part (c)) and
  • The aircraft has not benefited from EU funding for the retrofit implementation (Reference EU No 1207/2011, Article 5, part (c)).


An aircraft will be exempt from the mandate if they meet one of these criteria.

  • Individual Certificate of Airworthiness first issued before June 7th, 1995, OR
  • Flight purpose is for maintenance or export, OR
  • Operation will cease by 31-OCT-2025

If an aircraft meets any of the exemptions above, enter EUADSBX into the Item 18 SUR/ field of their FPL.

For more information, see (EU) No 1207/2011 and (EU) No 1028/2014 and (EU) 2017/386 and (EU) 2020/587, the latter 3 are amendments to (EU) No 1207/2011 | EASA AMC | ADS-B Europe

5. Hong Kong

ADS-B is required for all operations above FL 285. For more information, see AIP GEN 1.5 and ENR 1.10.

6. Indonesia

ADS-B is required for all flights within Jakarta (WIIF) and Ujung Pandang (WAAF) flight information regions (FIRs) at and above FL 245. Below FL245 ADS-B is required in multiple TMA and CTR airspace as well as parts of Class D and E airspace.  More information can be found at AIP ENR 1.6.

7. Seychelles

The initial mandate that was supposed to go into effect on June 7th, 2020, has been delayed indefinitely per AIC 10/20.  Based on AIC 01/19, the mandate that is to be applied sometime in the future is as follows: All flights within the Seychelles (FSSS) FIR require ADS-B. Some automatic exemptions are available such as; STATE aircraft, small aircraft, and others. See AIC 01/19 and AIC 10/20 for more information.

8. Singapore

ADS-B is required for all operations at or above FL 290 within the area bounded by:

073605N 1090045E, 040713N 1063543E, 041717N 1061247E (MABLI), 044841N 1052247E (DOLOX), 045223N 1041442E (ENREP), 045000N 1034400E, thence north along the Singapore FIR boundary to 070000N 1080000E.

This area includes the following airways: L642, L644, M753, M771, M904, N891, N892, Q801, Q802, Q803, and T611.

For more information, see AIP ENR 1.8.

9. Sri Lanka

ADS-B is required within a prescribed area (See AIP SUP 02/20 for more details).

Aircraft manufactured before 01-JAN-2020 must have ADS-B (Out) 1090 MHz applicable to RTCA DO-260, DO-260A, or DO-260B.  Aircraft manufactured on or after 01-JAN-2020 and has an MTOW exceeding 12,566 lbs (5,700 kgs) or having a maximum cruising true airspeed (TAS) greater than 250 knots must have ADS-B (Out) 1090 MHz applicable to RTCA DO-260B.

For more information, see AIP SUP 02/20.

10. Vietnam

Currently, ADS-B is required for all flights at or above FL290 within the VVTS FIR whose MTOW is 5,700 kgs (12,566 lbs) or heavier. All flights operating along airways L625, L628, L642, M765. M768, M771, N500, and N892 require ADS-B at or above FL290.

11. Taiwan

ADS-B is mandatory for all aircraft operating within the Taipei FIR, at or above FL 290. For more information, see ENR 1.8.13.

12. China

ADS-B is currently required for all flights at and above FL290 if operating in one of the following Urumqi CTA sectors. ZWWWAR02, ZWWWAR03, ZWWWAR05 and ZWWWAR06. For more information, see AIP SUP 08/18.

13. Colombia

Colombia was initially supposed to go live with its mandate on January 1st, 2020. However, this has been delayed until April 30th, 2022. ADS-B is required for all flights within Colombia airspace, at all flight levels. For more information, see RAC 4

14. India

The current requirement is for aircraft to be ADS-B equipped to operate at or above FL285 on ATS routes in Indian continental airspace with designators L, M, N, P, Q, T and routes A201, A347, A465, A474, A791, B211, B466, G450, R457, R460, R461, W15, W19, W20, W29, W41, W43, W45, W47, W56S/N, W67, W111, W112, W114, W115, W118, W153.  For more information, see AIP SUP 148/18.

15. Malaysia

Malaysia has multiple phases for its ADS-B implementation.  Phase 1 is a trial that is currently going on.  Phase 2 will start on 25-MAR-2021. ADS-B is required to operate from FL290 to FL410 (inclusive) within a specified area that will affect the following airway segments listed below.

  • B466 (ANOKO-TOSOK)
  • L510 (EMRAN-GIVAL)
  • L645 (SAMAK-SAPAM)
  • N571 (IGOGU-VAMPI)
  • P574 (NOPEK-ANSAX)
  • P627 (POVUS-RUSET)
  • P628 (IGREX-GIVAL)

Phase 3 starts on 25-MAR-2022 and will require ADS-B in the entire WMFC and WBFC FIRs at all altitudes.

More information may be found within AIP SUP 01/20.

16. New Zealand

Currently, all flights operating within New Zealand where at or above FL245 where Transponder Mandatory Controlled Airspace exists require ADS-B. A second phase to begin on December 31st, 2021, will extend this requirement all the way to the surface.  More information may be found at

17. French Polynesia / Tahiti (NTTT) FIR

Currently, all aircraft flying at or above FL200 will require to be ADS-B equipped. Starting on January 1st, 2022, the mandate will then expand to include the entire NTTT FIR. More information is located at AIC PAC-P A06/19.

18. Canada

Currently, Space-based ADS-B will be used for surveillance in Class A airspace. Then on January 27th, 2022 will expand into Class B airspace.  Non-ADS-B Out equipped aircraft will be accommodated within the airspace until a performance requirements mandate can be implemented.

19. UAE

The ADS-B mandate has been delayed until 02-DEC-2021 (AIP SUP 02/21).  As per U.A.E. AIP GEN 1.5 and CAR Part IV Aircraft Operations, CAR OPS 1.867 ADS-B is mandated in the Emirates FIR for all IFR aircraft.

20. Saudi Arabia

As per GACAR 91.477 (b)(1)(vi) ADS- B will be mandated starting on January 1st, 2023, in class A, E, and B/C/D (around major airports).

21. South Africa

As of January 2020, the decision for an ADS-B mandate has been delayed until 2022.

22. Mexico

Starting on January 1st, 2022, ADS-B will be mandated for all Mexican airspace IFR operations.  More information at Advisory CO AV-91.2/19

23. Curacao FIR

As per AIC 10/19, all flights operating at and above FL290 requires ADS-B.  On 01-JAN-2023, this requirement will extend all the way to the surface.

24. Mongolia

Starting 17-JUN-2021, as per AIRAC SUP 01/18, all flights operating at and above FL207 (6300 meters) requires ADS-B.

25. New Caledonia / NFFF FIR

Starting on 01-JAN-2022, all flights operating within the New Caledonia sector of the Nandi (NFFF) FIR requires ADS-B.  For more information, see AIP PAC-N GEN 1.5.

Equipment versions

All mandates in effect currently require your ADS-B equipment to meet the requirements for 1090ES (1090 MHz), while some areas (USA) also allow 978 UAT (978 MHz) equipment to be used.  Be sure you have the correct version to operate where you are going.

1090 MHz

Version                FAA/RTCA                           Europe/EUROCAE

0                              260                                         —

1                              260A                                      ED-102

2                              260B                                      ED-102A

3                              260C                                      ED-102B

978 MHz

Version                FAA/RTCA

0                              282

1                              282A

2                              282B

3                              282C

Tips when traversing regions with ADS-B requirements

Become familiar with ICAO FPL equipment and capability codes (Items 10a/b and Item 18) as well as your performance-based navigation (PBN) codes to help prevent misunderstandings with air traffic control (ATC) while in flight. Know which codes apply to the specific operation. Remember that codes filed in the FPL should represent not only aircraft equipment and capabilities but also those crew members covered by necessary training, authorizations from state of registry, and working equipment.


Many ADS-B mandates will come into force in 2020. Remember that even though some countries do not currently have any ADS-B mandates or any proposals for mandates, there is still quite a bit of ADS-B coverage out there. Those aircraft not equipped with ADS-B can still potentially run into situations as you are less equipped than those around you. Keep this mentality in mind while flying these days … “better equipped, better served,” as it is no longer just first come, first served.

Got a question for Jason about this article?