30.11.2017

Lufthansa Technik receives approval for transponder modification for Airbus A320 Family

Mandatory modification for ADS-B Out by 2020

Lufthansa Technik AG has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for modifications on the Airbus A320 Family aircraft to fit them with second-generation "Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast" (ADS-B) transponders. Completion of this modern airspace surveillance technology modification by 2020 has been prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The aviation authorities require that, in future, all aircraft can be traced worldwide using GPS-based aircraft data.

Lufthansa Technik can now equip the first customer aircraft with the new transponders, which fulfill the DO-260 B RTCA (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) standard. Compared to conventional surface-based radar monitoring, the new technology will significantly improve the localization of aircraft and therefore airspace safety. In the course of modification, it may also be necessary to replace the GPS signal source.

"We can now offer our customers the appropriate ADS-B modifications with original manufacture components and regulatory approval," says Thomas Rueckert, Vice President Base Maintenance Services at Lufthansa Technik AG.

The STC for ADS-B on the Airbus A320 family will be followed by certifications for other aircraft, including the Airbus A330/340, the Boeing 747, 777 and MD11.

The significant global demand for ADS-B modifications is already resulting in capacity problems at many overhaul facilities. Lufthansa Technik is therefore offering options for the performance of this modification, including mobile installation teams that can work anywhere around the world. The modification can be carried out over three independent night stops, which avoids long ground times and high costs.