UK Department for Transport, CAA funding FLARM installations

To encourage the adoption of Electronic Conspicuity (EC) in the UK, the Department for Transport (DfT) via the UK CAA has started funding installations of EC devices in UK aircraft. Funding is available for systems that transmit, but not for systems that only receive (e.g. ADS-B In). FLARM, which is the most widely used EC and collision-avoidance system not only in the UK but in the whole of Europe, is expected to be the main beneficiary.

PowerFLARM devices do not only communicate (transmit and receive) position and collision-avoidance data with other FLARM-equipped aircraft but also receive ADS-B Out and transponder equipped aircraft. These aircraft are also included in the collision warning algorithms.

The problem with most ADS-B Out systems is that, contrary to what many people believe, they are not allowed to be shown by certified ADS-B In systems (the SIL and SDA values have to be above certain limits). In addition, there are very few ATC providers that can see ADS-B Out aircraft. The accuracy of the FLARM GNSS system and collision algorithms is also higher than most ADS-B Out systems (ADS-B was designed for ATC separation, not tactical collision avoidance). PowerFLARM will process and show all ADS-B Out aircraft independently of the SIL and SDA values but will prioritize the FLARM data because of the higher accuracy.

The funding scheme is open until 31 March 2021 (or until all funding has been used). The funding is applicable to both installed and portable devices and for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Those meeting the requirements can claim a 50% rebate of the purchase cost to a maximum of £250.00 (including VAT), per applicant. The UK CAA anticipates that up to 10,000 rebates will be available.

More information is available on the CAA Electronic Conspicuity page.