You will have hopefully seen today’s news that NATS has started a trial promoting the use of ADS-B by General Aviation that encourages pilots to connect a transponder to a non-certified GPS source.

This is big news for the GA community and will hopefully lead to a real step forward in terms of improving pilots’ visibility to each other and other airspace users. As it says in our news release, there could be real safety benefits to be had from what would be quite a simple change in the aircraft’s cockpit or in the application of current regulations.

Essentially, we want to create an airspace environment where everyone knows as much as possible about the traffic in the sky around them, making it safer for all.

Most Mode S transponders have an ADS-B capability. If you have one of these we hope you’ll be keen to take part, so please do contact us at: gps.trial@nats.co.uk. Consult your licensing organisation (LAA, CAA, EASA) about the steps needed to carry out this minor modification. You can also read the letter with more details on the trial and how to get involved.

One of the most immediate and tangible things the trial will change is that all equipped pilots should become visible on Planefinder and Flightradar24. I suspect there are some very clever people keen to make the most of this new data, so it will be interesting to see how that develops.

We hope you enjoy taking part and in the meantime, the below infographic should take you through the reasons behind the trial and why we’ve also invested in developing a low power ADS-B transceiver called LPAT for pilots who fly aircraft not equipped with a transponder.

NATS_LPAT-V2-updated27jan

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01.02.2015

13:08

Harry Haigh

I would be up for LPAT.Sounds like a great idea for recreational pilots.

06.02.2015

16:07

James Tuke

We (Thurston Helicopters Ltd) run 4 Robinson helicopters from Headcorn in Kent and one R22 has just come back from its 2200 overhaul in the US when I had it fitted with WAS on the GPS and an ES type transponder giving us ADS-B OUT capability and would very much welcome LPATs for our other aircraft. Well done NATS for promoting this obvious aid to safety

04.04.2016

11:12

Julian Julain Webb

Yes well done this is for sure the right way to go. I have a Eurostar Microlight with a Garmin 196 and a TRT800H so as soon as possible (ie when we have a process from the BMAA) I will start to transmit ES from my mode S transponder. We just need everyone to do this.

Whilst on this subject can you put any pressure on FLARM to allow the decoding of the FLARM transmission? Gliders won’t be able to see us be we would be able to see them. Maybe the CAA can also put some pressure on FLARM?


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