ADS-B Mandate issued for South Africa

The South African Civil Aviation Authority has officially mandated ADS-B in South Africa.

Read the ADS-B Mandate here.

If you are anything like me, once you have read this you are more confused than when you started. One of my major concerns is the fact that Avionics companies have started marketing this, but after long consultation with the SACAA and ATNS, I have realised that this AIC is very vague and these companies are marketing the completely wrong solutions.

Having watched this whole ADS-B thing unfold in the USA I have read up a fair amount on what it is, how it works etc etc etc. Having done this, when this mandate hit I had quite a few questions to ask before even trying to understand what type of equipment we down here need to install, so as to meet the requirement in its entirety.

The timeline for this is as follows:

  • All IFR aircraft that is registered in South Africa, on or after the 1st January 2018, must be compliant.
  • All IFR aircraft must be compliant on or before the 1st April 2020.

So when they say you must comply, what does this mean? I have tried to simplify this as much as possible:

  • We will be operating on Ground based as well as Satellite based systems. This means that we are forced to use extended squitter and Diversity Transponders. Don’t get too confused with the Mode S side of this as all ADS-B transponders already comply with this. Diversity means a transponder antenna on top and on the bottom of each aircraft.
  • We will only be operating on the 1090ES ADS-B system due to the satellite link we will be using.
  • The transponders will require a Certified WAAS GPS position source.
  • At some point, MSSR (Monopulse Secondary Surveillance RADAR) will be phased out; but it’s highly unlikely that this will occur within the next 15 yrs. Please take note that Planning has begun to decommission some PSR’s at low traffic volume Towers.
  • The mandate requires aircraft to be OUT compliant. Just like the rest of the world, IN is optional but does carry its advantages.
  • Weather information will be provided via the system to all IN compliant aircraft. The stream of information will be FIS-B and TIS-B. Please remember that the traffic information being received by the aircrafts ADS-B system will not include aircraft that have only Mode C transponders.

This opens a whole new can of worms as not all manufacturers have Diversity ES solutions for IN and OUT. There are a fair amount of solutions for OUT but all the “all in one” solutions are not Diversity compliant. Obviously they are still busy catching up with the USA and European mandates and the fact that they are using ground based systems, manufacturers have not had the need for Diversity ES “all in one” solutions. This is something that they have started looking into but as we all know, this could take the next 3 years to put together.

So before you get caught up in this whole thing and jump to fit a transponder that does not meet the requirements, please give me a call and I will try give you all the information you need to make a confident purchase.

Bye for now.



  1. Jan Viljoen on March 13, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Good day
    I operate a Rockwell Commander 690B with KXP 775 transponder
    Can they be upgraded to be ADS – B compliant?

    • clintonc on March 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Good morning Jan,

      KXP 775 Transponders cannot be upgraded to ADS-B. This would mean a complete new fit of your transponders. The problem with our ADS-B mandate is Diversity. This means two transponder antenna’s per transponder. One on the roof and one on the belly. Please send me some more info at [email protected] and I would be happy to do a free quote for you on options.

  2. Nico on October 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    So what effectively do one need to install then to comply to this mandate, in terms of actual equipment?

    • clintonc on October 5, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Nico,

      The system is not as complicated as people may think. It’s a simple transponder change but also requires Mode S registration with the SACAA and a WAAS GPS position source. We take care of it all. Most of the Transponder solutions include a GPS source if the aircraft is not already equipped. Send me a mail with you aircraft details to [email protected] and I will be happy to give you a quote on options.

  3. Peter on January 9, 2019 at 10:45 am

    The mandate mentions IFR aircraft. Does this timeline apply to Aircraft that will be operating VFR only?

    • clintonc on January 9, 2019 at 11:19 am

      Hi Peter,

      Yes this does affect all aircraft, IFR or VFR that operate in any controlled airspaces.

  4. Mike on February 6, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Hi Clinton, I’m surprised you hevn’t been asked this question: Does it also apply to NTC aircraft?

    • clintonc on February 6, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Ok so today has been a very interesting debate and discussion with the SACAA. In short, yes everyone who flies in any controlled airspace will be required to be ADS-B compliant. The kicker is that ADS-B has officially come to a halt in South Africa. I will put a post out in the next few days on this.

  5. Morne Van Rensburg on June 29, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    So I just bought a Bendixking Kt 74 routeing through a trig TN 72 for gps position. I was ask the question in the states was or none was,which to me opens a new can of worms.. but I got the answer now everything needs to be Waas.. that’s just open more expenses,. Trig told me about the daul antennas but they don’t have anything on the market,now what the hell do I do.. I bought the stuff already and am only VFR.. any advise giving here..

    Oh other questions do I need to run a blind encoder also , someone said it’s a must..

    Regards Morne

    • Clinton Carroll on June 30, 2023 at 2:11 pm

      Good afternoon Morne, I have asked Shane to reach out and assist you with this. he will be in touch shortly. [email protected]

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