Regulatory deadlines on the horizon

By Chris Shieff


Regulatory compliance – nothing quite warms the heart like reading those two words, side by side. This year has seen quite a few changes in this department already (thank you, NAT HLA!), but here is a list of some other regulatory deadlines on the horizon…

Dec 31, 2019 – Operations in North Atlantic

  • U.S. operators must have the revised LOA BO39: “Operations in North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA)”. Operators holding the old MNPS LOA BO39 will not be permitted to fly in the NAT HLA beyond this date. Requirements include: RNP10, crew training and new contingency procedures incorporated in company operating handbooks. Read our article here.

Jan 1, 2020 – US ADS-B Out Mandate

  • ADS-B Out will be required where Mode C is required AND:
  • Class A, B and C airspace, Class E at or above 10,000’ MSL (but not below 2,500’ AGL).
  • Within 30nm of Class B (Mode C veil).
  • Above the ceiling and within lateral boundaries of Class B and C up to 10,000’.
  • Class E over Gulf of Mexico, at and above 3000’ MSL within 12 nm of US coast.

Jan 30, 2020 – Expansion of Datalink Mandate in the North Atlantic

  • Phase 2C of North Atlantic Datalink Mandate. FANS 1/A CPDLC and ADS-C will be required between FL290-FL410 throughout the entire NAT region (previously FL350-390). Read our article here.

Feb 5, 2020 – European Datalink Mandate

  • Initially legacy aircraft flying above FL290 in European airspace were to be equipped with CPDLC capability by Feb 2015. But due to equipage requirements and technical issues the mandate was delayed to Feb 2020, AND, even better, most GA/BA aircraft will be exempt from this. Read our article here.

June 7, 2020 – European ADS-B Out Mandate

  • Aircraft flying IFR in Europe with max certified takeoff weight of more than 5700kg (12,566lbs) OR max cruising TAS of more than 250kts must be equipped with ADS-B. GPS sensor with at least WAAS accuracy coupled to a 1090 Extended Squitter transponder required.


Canada: ADS-B Out Mandate

  • This was planned to be implemented in Class A airspace from Feb 2021, and Class B airspace from Jan 2022. But Nav Canada has now postponed this mandate. They still plan on using ADS-B for surveillance, and this will be used on a priority basis for suitably equipped aircraft starting in 2021, but they say – “non ADS-B Out equipped aircraft will be accommodated within the airspace until a performance requirements mandate can be implemented.”


August 14, 2020 – EU: SAFA Ramp Checks & Pilot Mental Health

  • EASA regulations requiring alcohol testing during ramp checks will take effect across all SAFA participating countries (although some countries have already started doing this: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and Singapore). Tests may also be carried out by local police at any time.
  • All pilots working for European airlines will have access to mental health support programs.
  • European airlines will perform a psychological assessment of their pilots before the start of employment.

Any other biggies that we missed? Let us know!


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Chris Shieff

Chris Shieff

OPSGROUP team member and Airbus pilot. Based in sunny Auckland, New Zealand. Question for us? Write to

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