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ADF and European navigation (merged)

Mandatory-ADF enforcement?

The UK has had this requirement for many many years, for IFR in controlled airspace, with it only recently (I believe) disappearing for enroute IFR.

But the requirement to carry an ADF has never been enforced here - despite it being obvious that many/most Cirruses don't have one.

What is happening in the rest of Europe? On its record, I would have expected Germany to be the leader in enforcement

Practically, there are also many NDBs in instrument approaches (obviously one would use a GPS in the OBS mode, but that isn't the point) yet no European country (except possibly Switzerland, from some digging I did a few years ago) has a US-style GPS/ADF substitution concession.

I am also not aware that SERA contains any such concession, though I won't read those 1000-page docs anymore...

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

No one cares unless there is a problem. We all know that GPS is much more accurate than NDB. Let's not worry about it.

EGTK Oxford

Last I looked, Canada and Greenland also required ADF. But no one has objected to me flying with only a GPS. In both those places, IFR is mostly in uncontrolled airspace (below 24,000 feet) - excepting the approaches of course - and no one much appears to care how we navigate those so long as we are successful. And being successful is much more likely with a GPS, in my opinion.

Is this a "not invented here" issue? When Europe has its own constellation is is going to be OK?

KBDN (Bend Oregon, USA), Other

What is happening in the rest of Europe? On its record, I would have expected Germany to be the leader in enforcement

Germany does not require an ADF unless you are planning to conduct an NDB approach. However, Germany does require a DME for all aircraft in its airspace under IFR, no matter what approach they are planning conduct. This rule is being violated all the time (by N-regs) but I have never heard about it actually being enforced. Still it's risky, the fines are high and you do get ramp-checked every now and then.

I am also not aware that SERA contains any such concession, though I won't read those 1000-page docs anymore...

SERA does not cover navigation equipment of airplane or ground stations. I am not sure whether mandatory equipment is actually within EASA's mandate. Let's hope it is.

Is this a "not invented here" issue? When Europe has its own constellation is is going to be OK?

It's more than that. If GPS was allowed as the sole source of navigation, a foreign country could flip a switch and ground all civil aircraft in Europe. That is not desired from a strategic point of view.

This rule is being violated all the time (by N-regs)

Not just N-regs. Loads of people fly around with just a GNS430 (etc), especially in UK Class G, and then, when they get an IR, flying IFR everywhere is just.... hey! .... a Eurocontrol flight plan away

you do get ramp-checked every now and then.

Any known enforcement in Germany?

If GPS was allowed as the sole source of navigation, a foreign country could flip a switch and ground all civil aircraft in Europe. That is not desired from a strategic point of view.

This is a long debate I know but IMHO there is absolutely NO possible scenario in which the USA would turn off its GPS (and suffer instant and massive economic damage as a result) but Europe would not switch off theirs.

G Bush once said (IIRC) that the USA would shoot down Galileo satellites if the USA came under missile attack, and frankly that is exactly what I would do too. IMHO, it is completely inconceivable that Europe has not done a secret "understanding" with the USA to turn off Galileo if there was such a scenario, and anyway if some country is shooting missiles at the USA they will be (or will soon be) doing the same to Europe.

As far as GA is concerned, it would be banned anyway, on Day 1 of any real hostilities - just as happened in WW2 AFAIK.

I think the USA turning it off is by far the least likely scenario. The thinking behind Galileo is IMHO European political empire building. I haven't looked at the website but only a couple of years ago they were making totally wild claims of creating 100k jobs, etc.

Maybe they will find ways of making Galileo chargeable in some way, but with NAVSTAR covering all known business (including surveying, using DGPS etc) free of charge I don't see what niches are left. They would have to create chargeable scenarios by legal means i.e. banning the use of NAVSTAR for certain things, but what could they be? LPV (NAVSTAR+EGNOS) is already coming in and will be well established in Europe by the time the Galileo constellation is fully functional. Can one imagine the EU doing a law banning these approaches, forcing Garmin/Jepp etc to depublish/republish existing ones and implement some kind of taxation scheme, collecting revenues for Brussels? I can't.

Also aviation apps won't raise more than 0.00001% (or whatever) of the cost to be recovered, given that 99% of those with real money (airlines) are flying Cat1-3 ILS.

Road nav cannot be touched because there will never be a way to enforce how you find your way from A to B.

What is left is presumably road charging, using equipment required by law and required to use Galileo only, but hanging that on Galileo is nothing to do with the road charging itself so why bother? Road charging may well come in (with electric vehicles being very very cheap to run).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

you do get ramp-checked every now and then.

Any known enforcement in Germany?

I've never heard about it, let me see if I can find an example. Most ramp checks focus on documents, flight planning, weight and balance. The people doing those checks are usually not experts in airplane equipment and IFR mandatory instrumentation. If I was asked about my DME and didn't have one, I would point to my Aspen and say it's integrated in that box.

This is a long debate I know but IMHO there is absolutely NO possible scenario in which the USA would turn off its GPS (and suffer instant and massive economic damage as a result) but Europe would not switch off theirs.

Still, there is a political goal of self sufficient infrastructure. There's some value to it. The US of A of today can be very different from the same country in a few decades. The political decision to create Galileo was taken so it has to be executed and making sure it gets adopted is part of that. I predict that "charging" aspect will disappear.

LPV (NAVSTAR+EGNOS) is already coming in and will be well established in Europe by the time the Galileo constellation is fully functional. Can one imagine the EU doing a law banning these approaches, forcing Garmin/Jepp etc to depublish/republish existing ones and implement some kind of taxation scheme, collecting revenues for Brussels? I can't.

Once Galileo is operational, they can require LPV receivers to use the Galileo signal as of a certain date. That would not change anything about LPV and EGNOS (which is the core of LPV) is unrelated to GPS. When Russia had GLONASS up and running, they introduced a law prohibiting the import of GPS receivers that did not support GLONASS.

Good Morning. As an American, I am contemplating a new plane, the Cessna JTA, and may have an interest in flying it to Europe, et al and was wondering if it might be advisable to get the ADF option installed. And I thank Peter for introducing me to your site where I can learn more about Europe GA.

Sam Ferguson
KOCF , United States

Within the rather substantial ticket price of a new aircraft the option of an ADF is not such a big deal.

In theory you need an ADF in Europe if you wish to fly approaches which use NDB's , even as part of the procedure, and it will be a plus point if you ever wish to sell the aircraft in the future. Parts of the world are even more backward than Europe (hard to believe I know) and rely extensively on NDB approaches.

I would add it to the order if it were mine

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

IMO not worth the expenditure.

Croatia still has quite a few NDB's but elsewhere they're in rapid decline.

DME is the more useful option, many approaches explicitly require DME, and at least for EASA reg substitution of DME distance with GPS distance is (still) not allowed

My aircraft does have an ADF receiver, and I'm not going to uninstall it as long as it works, but I wouldn't consider installing one if I hadn't one.

LSZK, Switzerland

Interesting bit of information on DME. I just assumed that GPS could be substituted. That's offered as an option too, but surprisingly a bit more expensive.

Sam Ferguson
KOCF , United States
177 Posts
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