In December 2022, we published a joint statement with the Department for Transport (DfT) on the development of a national specification for electronic conspicuity alongside a report commissioned by the DfT from Egis, an independent aviation consultancy .
We have always advocated for the development of a clear national specification for electronic conspicuity and support the recommendations included in the Egis report for aircraft to be equipped with regulated EC devices that meet the proposed specifications. The potential volume and intensity of future air operations in the UK requires a step change in how airspace users safely operate in relation to each other, this EC work is a step towards understanding how that will work and supports the integration of airspace users as described in the Airspace Modernisation Strategy.
We are now focussing on working transparently with manufacturers and the GA community to ensure both specifications and the detail of how, and where, equipment will be mandated can be fully appreciated.
Further the funding scheme launched in October 2020 The Department for Transport (DfT) has made available additional 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 remain open to applications until 31 March 2024 (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 3500 rebates will be available from the 9th August 2021. The previously advertised need to purchase equipment by 28 February no longer applies.
What are the requirements to apply?
- Funding is for carry-on or aircraft-fitted devices only. Ground system components do not qualify for this scheme.
- Applicants can claim once for a single rebate of 50% - up to £250 - on EC equipment purchased. Organisations/Charities can claim for multiple devices on the same rebate terms.
- Applicants to claim for equipment purchased up to 31 March 2024.
- Funding for up to 3500 rebates from 9th August 2021.
- If the funding allocated (up to 3500 rebates) is used before 31 March 2024 an earlier closing date will be agreed and published.
- You must produce a proof of purchase receipt.
- You must hold at least one of the following UK issued pilot licences (UK or EASA part FCL):
o Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL)
o Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL)
o National PPL (NPPL)
o Sailplane Pilot’s Licence (SPL)
o Balloon Pilot’s Licence (BPL)
o Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence (LAPL)
- Or be a registered member of the British Gliding Association (BGA), holding a current 'Pilot' or ‘Club Pilot’ rating, or a registered pilot of the Association of Paragliding Pilots and Instructors (APPI) and a UK resident.
- Alternatively, if you are UAS/UAV operator then you must hold an authorisation issued specifically to them by the CAA (i.e. a permission, exemption or “operational authorisation”). General Exemptions, permissions or authorisations which are aimed at a wider and non-specific group of operators are not included.
- From 9th August 2021 charities undertaking aviation activity, aviation clubs and flight training organisations are also eligible. Only one bulk application per organisation/charity is allowed. Aviation club applications are limited to Chair and Club Secretary level applications while charities are asked to provide proof of their charitable status.
What equipment is in scope of this rebate scheme?
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:
- ADS-B Out capable transponder inclusive of GNSS position source (Mode S ES Enabled).
- ADS-B Out capable transponder without GNSS position source (Mode S ES)
- Certified GNSS source for Mode S ES transponders (Including a GNSS position sources in line with the recently published AIC2019Y141, example being Trig TN72)
- Power FLARM
- Pilot Aware Rosetta
- Sky Echo 2
We will consider requests from device manufacturers for alternative or newly developed equipment to be added on a case by case basis. At a minimum, devices need to be emitting and/or transmitting position and speed information on a dedicated frequency.
What do I need to consider before purchasing and using EC equipment?
‘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.
|Conspicuity beacons||Which traffic receivers can see them?|
|ADS-B-in devices (certified)||ADS-B in Rx||Airborne Collision Awareness Systems (ACAS)||
|Power FLARM||Sky Echo 2 (SIL-1 Device) CAA CAP 1391 approved|
|ADS-B Out transponder certified GPS||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ADS-B out transponder uncertified GPS (Surveillance Integrity Level (SIL) 0)||No*2||Variable*4||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Pilot Aware Rosetta
|Sky Echo 2 (SIL-1 Device) CAA CAP 1391 approved||Yes||Variable*4||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|*1) Dependent on proximity to ground infrastructure|
|*2) Certified Traffic receivers normally exclude reports from transponders & beacons set to SIL 0|
|*3) New development requires a FLARM decode licence and a suitable display|
|*4) Transponders or beacons with a non-certified GPS may not be detected by a certified ADS-B in device. Systems with a quality indicator of System Design Assurance (SDA) ≥ 1 can be ‘’seen’ ’. In the above table, the term certified means a device that has been tested for meeting EUROCAE/RTCA standards and operates in the aviation spectrum.|
|In the above table, the term certified means a device that has been tested for meeting ICAO standards and operates in the aviation spectrum.|
In parallel to the grant scheme, work will continue 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.
How to apply
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. Note: if you are applying as part of an organisation for bulk claims, you will have to fill in one application form per EC device purchased.
Following the 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 your records.
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
The scheme does not affect your rights under the Consumer Rights Act to return faulty equipment for replacement or repair. In the event you are refunded for a purchase you must cancel any application for a rebate or, if funding has been provided return the rebate to the CAA. We may contact the seller of the equipment to confirm whether goods have been returned.
What is Electronic Conspicuity?
Electronic Conspicuity (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):
1. Enabling the on-going modernisation of the UK’s airspace structure and route network.
2. Helping to mitigate the risk of mid-air collisions in Class G, and infringements into controlled airspace.
3. Enabling the safe and efficient integration of unmanned aircraft
Information on EC devices CAP1391
AIC2019Y141 : the 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.
|Ref No||Issue No||Manufacturer||Type No||Category|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000001||Issue 0||uAvionix Inc||Ping1090-20||Basic/transmit only|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000002||Issue 0||uAvionix Inc||Echo ATT-20B||Basic/transmit only|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000005||Issue 0||f.u.n.k.e. Avionics GmbH||ATOM-(000)-(000)||Basic/transmit only|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000006||Issue 0||f.u.n.k.e. Avionics GmbH||LPAT-(000)-(000)||Intermediate|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000003||Issue 1||f.u.n.k.e. Avionics GmbH||PNLMGE71.stp||Intermediate|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000004||Issue 1||uAvionix Inc||SkyEcho||Intermediate|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000007||Issue 0||uAvionix Inc||SkyEcho 2||Intermediate|
|UK.CAA.DoCC.000008||Issue 0||uAvionix Inc||Ping1090i||Basic/transmit only|
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.
For use on an unregistered aircraft
If you are using an EC device on an unregistered aircraft, you need to contact the CAA Infrastructure Section and provide the following:
- Your contact details
- The details for your EC device, including:
- Serial number
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.
For use on registered aircraft
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).
Selling your device
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.