Sunny Swift Issue 22: Collision avoidance - make yourself seen

Vladimir FOLTIN • 20 May 2020
in community General Aviation

Many pilots have experienced situations in flight when another aircraft came too close without them being aware or when a mid-air collision did not occur just by coincidence.

EASA recently reviewed this type of scenario and developed new actions to help mitigate the risk. As well as improvements in airspace design and management of airspace, the plan also relies on promising technological developments in the area of non-certified traffic awareness systems. Despite these systems not always being mutually compatible, their wider use combined with improvements of their interoperability could significantly help in reducing the airborne collision risk, especially in situations when uncontrolled traffic is involved. In support of these developments EASA came up with a novel concept called iConspicuity*.

This latest story of Sunny Swift introduces this new concept and also recognises the efforts leading to a broader compatibility of various iConspicuity systems.

The main message here is that being equipped with an iConspicuity compatible system, and activating it, can improve pilots' awareness of nearby traffic and thus make a timely avoidance manoeuvre possible so to avoid mid-air collision.

Happy landings! 

The EASA GA Team.


*iConspicuity (or in-flight electronic conspicuity plus) means in-flight capability to transmit position of aircraft and/or to receive, process and display positions of other aircraft in a real time with the objective to enhance pilots’ situational awareness about surrounding traffic. It is an umbrella term for a range of technologies and solutions, whether airborne or on the ground, that can help airspace users and other affected stakeholders to be more aware of other aircraft in their vicinity or in a given airspace.


Here below some interesting links related to iConspicuity:


Comments (4)

Vladimir. A timely reminder that we all need to be as conspicuous as possible. With iConspicuity, no one system meets all the requirements of all pilots types of flying, aircraft, or budget. So that's why we have different systems.

Several suppliers including those mentioned above can already see multiple systems so this lowers the risk further.

Obviously all iConspicuity devices should be used as a secondary aid to a continuous visual scan. If I recall correctly the recommendation is that the pilot spends at least 75% of the time looking outside and encourages his passengers to do the same.

However as Sunny Swift showed, quite often aircraft are obscured by many factors.

Keep a lookout there is some great flying ahead for those that fly defensively and arrive home safely.

Axel-Stéphane Smorgrav

I appear to have missed this post when it was published almost a year ago, but I did see the video on YouTube on the subject. I also watched quite a few other videos on the subject, including the in-flight testing by Flyer Magazine in January 2021, and videos by PilotAware, particularly that which explains the issues with aerial obscuration. I have also taken the time to read parts of the Horvath feasability study on using the mobile network in the context of electronic conspicuity, particularly the conclusions. And I have read NPA 2021-14.

There are a few things that really surprise me.

First of all I am surprised that one can suggest using portable (non-installed) devices for which one cannot presume the effectiveness, in order to meet a regulatory obligation to make oneself conspicuous to USSP or anyone. At least the aerial would need to be mounted outside in order to avoid obscuration.

Second I am really surprised that it is suggested that the public mobile network can be used for the same, given the conclusions of the Horvath report.

Next I do have some questions about the ISM band devices. There are already several technologies that exist, including FLARM and PilotAware, and more seem to be coming. Although these devices will be sending the same data frames, the frequencies, and I assume the encoding, is different from one system to the next. Would the USSPs be forced to support all existing and future ADS-B Light ISM band devices?

Thinking about iConspicuity beyond U-Space, PilotAware partly relies on its ATOM ground stations. Today those ground stations are managed by volunteers with absolutely no service level agreement or installation standards, so nothing guarantees the quality nor the availability of the signal or the service. I absolutely love the ingenuity and the concepts, which seem to somewhat inspired by TIS-B, but can we rely on such a system for iConspicuity?

An increasing number of light, general aviation aircraft, including UL, are already equipped with ADS-B 1090 ES. The Trig TT21, 22, 31 transponders seem to be extremely popular in light aircraft, and can easily and inexpensively be made transmitting 1090 ES. All ADS-B IN receivers I know are dual-band 1090/978. UAT and services like TIS-B to broadcast mode C/S and FLARM targets, and FIS-B to transmit information about active restriction areas and meteorological information would be a great incentive to all of powered GA to adopt ADS-B or UAT. And isn't ADS-B at some point going to replace SSR?

Vladimir Foltin

Axel-Stéphane, I applaud your interest in this important topic and appreciate the questions you have raised. Your query confirms that there is a real need to explain the iConspicuity concept in more details including how it can remain compatible with other similar developments like drone BVLOS operations and U-space. It also confirms importance of this topic for GA and other aviators.
Therefore, I hope that instead of responding in writing directly here at lengths you will appreciate my invitation to join EASA virtual workshop scheduled for 23 February. It will be a public event dedicated to wider GA and Rotorcraft communities, where we will present this and other relevant matters as well as respond to questions received from the audience.
We have already noted down all the points you have raised for our priority response at the workshop. I look forward to connecting with you and others there:…

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