for Transport (DfT) has made available funding to encourage the adoption of
Electronic Conspicuity (EC) within the UK’s General Aviation (GA) and Unmanned Aircraft
Systems (UAS) communities. The CAA is distributing
these funds via a rebate scheme.
The scheme will
open to applications from the 5 October 2020 until 31 March 2021
(or until the funding is used). Those meeting the requirements can claim a 50%
rebate of the purchase cost of an EC device to a maximum of £250.00 (including
VAT), per applicant. We anticipate up to 10,000 rebates will be available.
Or be a registered member of the British Gliding
Association (BGA), or a member of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding
Association (BHPA) holding a current 'Pilot' rating.
We recognise that there are a range of EC solutions on the market that
manufacturers and communities have developed for their own needs.
The main equipment able to be
used on an aircraft for EC purposes currently available (and that a refund can
be claimed against) includes:
consider requests from device manufacturers for alternative
or newly developed equipment to be added on a case by case basis.
‘See and avoid’ is the foundation for Visual Flight Rules flying in
the UK. EC devices can improve
situational awareness for pilots but do not replace the fundamental role of ‘see
and avoid’. Pilots
using EC devices should be aware of their functionality and what they can, and
cannot, do. Devices are not always interoperable with each
other. This means that users of one type
of device may or may not be electronically visible to each other, may have
different standards of reliability and accuracy, and may use different parts of
the radio spectrum for transmitting signals.
The DfT and CAA are not recommending any specific device to pilots but
do recommend that all pilots understand and consider the functional benefits,
and limitations, of any EC device so they make informed decisions on the level
of reliance that can be placed on the information provided to them.
While not a definitive list the table below describes the currently
most used EC technologies, a high-level understanding of the interoperability
between them and which are certified.
Pilot Aware Rosetta
In parallel to the grant scheme, work will continue on a long-term
strategy for EC in the UK. Surveillance technology will
continue to develop quickly and, together with the DfT, we are open to
exploring and embracing new technologies.
Applicants should be aware that in common with other technologies in any
sector, any device purchased today is not necessarily guaranteed to meet any
future EC requirements.
Please login or register for an account on the CAA online
customer portal. This is a one-off process so if you have already
registered you can log in using your existing account.
If you are registering for a new account, then you will need
to wait for an email from us confirming your account is live. Please see our
guidance on the customer portal for more information.
Once logged in to your account on the portal you can
complete the EC rebate online application form where you will be asked to
supply details and evidence of your purchase.
completion of your application form you will have the option to either download
a copy of your application form to your device or receive an email copy for
Please note: the current turnaround time for
receiving your Electronic Conspicuity Rebate (including Portal registration) is
up to 30 working days. To help us process the large number of applications we
kindly ask that once you have successfully completed the application form you
do not contact the team to chase your application until the 30 days is up.
For all enquiries please contact us on ECRebate@caa.co.uk
(EC) is an umbrella term for the technology that can help pilots, unmanned
aircraft users and air traffic services be more aware of what is operating in surrounding
airspace. EC includes the devices fitted to aircraft and unmanned systems that
send out the information, and the supporting infrastructure to help them work
together. Airborne transponders, air
traffic data displays, ground-based antennas and satellite surveillance
services are all examples of EC. The
information generated by these can be presented to pilots and air traffic
services visually, audibly or both to provide them with information on other
traffic nearby. This strengthens the
principle of ‘see and avoid’ by adding the ability to ‘detect and be detected’.
To be most effective it needs 100% of
users operating in a designated block of airspace using compatible EC devices,
and be able to be detected by others.
EC can play a vital role in three key areas to support the UK’s
Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS):
Enabling the on-going modernisation of the UK’s
airspace structure and route network.
Helping to mitigate the risk of mid-air collisions in Class G, and
infringements into controlled airspace.
Enabling the safe and efficient integration of unmanned aircraft.
Information on EC devices www.caa.co.uk/cap1391
steps that can be made to enable ‘ADS-B out’ throughout the General Aviation
fleet to reflect recent changes and developments from EASA
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.
EC devices can now be operated alongside specific transponders as per the AIC Y 141/2019
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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