As a Pilot in Command (PIC) you need to ensure if using an Electronic Conspicuity device that
operates using ADS-B at 1090MHz there is a valid declaration for the device. Current declarations will be available on
Electronic Conspicuity (EC) is an umbrella term for a range of technologies that, in their most basic form, transmit
the position of the host aircraft to other airspace users operating compatible equipment. More advanced devices can
also transmit and receive, displaying and alerting pilots to other/conflicting traffic who have compatible EC devices.
EC devices turn the traditional ‘see and avoid’ concept into ‘see, BE SEEN, and avoid’.
To reduce the safety risk of airborne conflict between GA in uncontrolled UK airspace we have developed a minimum
technical specification for low power, lightweight, portable Electronic Conspicuity Devices that operates using ADS-B.
This work has been completed in collaboration with the Conspicuity Working Group (CWG), a multi-stakeholder group
comprising NATS, AOPA and a cross-section of the GA community.
We hope that a range of EC devices will be produced by industry which will meet the minimum technical specification
but offer a variety of capabilities. The aim is to encourage voluntary uptake in the GA community. We anticipate that a
significant uptake may reduce the risk of mid-air collision in Class G airspace by improving situational awareness.
If you choose to purchase such an EC device, there are regulations that you need to follow. These are explained in
full in CAP 1391 and are summarised under the headings below.
An EC device that operates using ADS-B at 1090MHz must have a Declaration of Capability and Conformance from the manufacturer before you can legally use it on board an aircraft. The pilot in command of the aircraft is responsible for ensuring that the EC device has a valid declaration.
If you have any questions or would like to report an issue with an EC device please submit your question/comment here.
EC devices are intended for voluntary carriage on registered and non-registered UK Annex II aircraft, non-complex EASA aircraft of <5700kg MTOM and for gliders and balloons (including those covered under ELA 1 and ELA 2) within uncontrolled UK airspace.
An EC device cannot be used at the same time as a transponder and it doesn't replace the need for a transponder when required by airspace/flight rules. If your aircraft is fitted with a working transponder, you must switch off the transmitter function of your EC device.
EC devices use a 24-bit address in the same way as a transponder. This usually forms part of an aircraft's Certificate of Registration. However, as an EC device is designed to be portable and to also be used by unregistered aircraft, the 24-bit address will be programmable by the user. You can find details on how to perform this function in your EC device's operating handbook.
If you are using an EC device on an unregistered aircraft, you need to contact the CAA Infrastructure Section and provide the following:
We will then allocate the EC device a unique ICAO 24 bit address to enable it to be used on multiple unregistered aircraft without re-programming.
If you are using your EC device on a registered aircraft with an existing ICAO 24 bit address, then this address shall be used.
If you need to move the device between registered aircraft, it should be reprogrammed with the new aircraft's ICAO 24 bit address (as appropriate).
If you sell your EC device, you need to clear any registered aircraft 24 bit address before the sale. The new purchaser must contact us with their contact details and we will issue a unique 24 bit address if necessary.
To operate any radio equipment, aircraft owners/operators must hold a valid Wireless Telegraphy Act (WTA) Aeronautical Radio Licence. 1090MHz EC devices are radio-transmitting equipment, so are subject to this regulation.
The WTA usually requires anyone operating a transmitter/receiver, on this frequency, to have or be under the direct supervision of someone who possesses a Flight Radio Telephony Operator's Licence or FRTOL. This was because when this radio licence condition was introduced, it was assumed that all aircraft radio stations would include a voice telephony function.
A General Exemption has been issued so that while a WTA licence is still needed, the pilot need not hold a FRTOL if the transponder is the only radio equipment on the aircraft. However, the WTA licence must be varied formally to remove the need for the FRTOL. Variations are available free of charge. They are available from the on request by completing the form here. You must keep the variation with the WTA licence.
Approved transmitting EC devices will be included under the licensee's WTA licence as standard once notified.
When you buy an EC device, it is the responsibility of the aircraft owner/operator to complete the relevant application form to obtain a WTA Aircraft Radio Licence from the CAA.
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