Effective immediately with FAA Order N8900.491 and no later than June 30, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration has decommissioned OpSpec/MSpec/LOA A153 & A353 for ABS-B Out Operations.  The measure discards requirements for ADS-B Out operational approval and removes the administrative burden on operators needing to apply for and maintain the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA for ABS-B Out Operations.

Regulators at the FAA could find no State, worldwide, that continues to require an operator to carry a State of Registry operational approval.  Furthermore, they found there to be no safety or operational benefit to issuing and maintaining the OpSpec/MSpec/LOAs A153 & A353. Airworthiness approval and certification for the installed ABS-B Out equipment will continue to be required and expected to meet the ICAO standards.  Operational approval, specific training, and procedures for ADS-B In operations will still be required. Nothing has changed for ADS-B In, as the United States along with other State regulating agencies will continue to require it.

Remember, after January 1, 2020, only aircraft with ADS-B Out systems that meet the equipment requirements specified in § 91.227 will be authorized to operate in the airspace specified in § 91.225 (The U.S. NAS) unless otherwise authorized by ATC, but now no operational approval will be required.  ADS-B out guidance for installation and operations can be found in AC 90-114a chg 1. Many countries are now publishing mandates for ADS-B Out carriage in their airspace; equipment and airspace requirements do vary and it is important to pay attention to those differences.


What this means for us?

  • Operators will no longer need to apply for or maintain OpSpec/MSpec/LOA A153 & A353 with the FAA for ADS-B Out Operations outside of the United States
  • Airworthiness approval and certification of ADS-B equipment will still be required
  • ADS-B In operations will still require operational approval from the aircraft's State of registry
  • Operators should pay attention to changes in countries’ ADS-B Out equipment and airspace requirements during their preflight planning
  • It is recommended that operators carry a copy of FAA Order N8900.491 as verification for authorities
  • The FAA Order N8900.491 can be found here until the FSIM system 8900 has been updated to reflect the changes
  • Enjoy not having to maintain your OpSpec/MSpec/LOA for ADS-B Operations but understand how it functions