ADS-B Out will be required beginning at 0001 local time on January 2 for flight in the airspace defined in FAR 91.225, also called ADS-B rule airspace. This is generally where a transponder is required today, but there are some exceptions.
n the 48 contiguous states, it is all Class A, B, and C airspace; Class E airspace at or above 10,000 feet msl, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the ground; within 30 nautical miles of a Class B primary airport (the Mode C veil); and above the ceiling and within the lateral boundaries of Class B or Class C airspace up to 10,000 feet. It also includes Class E airspace over the Gulf of Mexico, at and above 3,000 feet msl, within 12 nautical miles of the U.S. coast—where transponders are not required.
Pilots can fly unequipped under Class B and C airspace shelves as long as they remain outside of any Mode C veil. Unlike a Mode C transponder, ADS-B is not required to cross any U.S. borders, or to transit a U.S. air defense identification zone, but keep in mind that many airports of entry—those with U.S. Customs services—are located in ADS-B rule airspace. Pilots also should be aware of foreign ADS-B mandates, including Mexico’s, which coincides with the FAA’s deadline. Canada currently does not have an ADS-B mandate.
Flying in ADS-B rule airspace without operating ADS-B equipment will subject the pilot to potential FAA enforcement action, if he or she has not received an authorization to do so. This can be done only through the FAA’s ADS-B Deviation Authorization Preflight Tool (ADAPT), an online portal that allows operators to request an airspace authorization for an individual flight. AOPA has been actively involved in its development, from defining its functionality to helping test the software. ADAPT is set to go live on December 18, so pilots can get familiar with the interface before it becomes operational January 1. Applications may be submitted in ADAPT no earlier than 24 hours in advance of your proposed flight—and must be submitted at least one hour before.
AOPA hosted and participated in an FAA webinar about ADAPT and related topics on December 10; the video can be viewed online. It provides an overview of the system and answers most frequently asked questions. AOPA has prepared a helpful, step-by-step ADAPT user guide, and additional information will be available from the FAA. READ MORE (AOPA).