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Rockwell Collins initiates project that validates ADS-B airworthiness requirements for helicopters in Europe


PARIS, France – Rockwell Collins, in collaboration with multiple helicopter operators*, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Eurocontrol, and the Netherlands Civil Aviation Administration, recently completed an operational evaluation to successfully validate automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) out airworthiness requirements for helicopters operating over the North Sea. The multi-year project, of which Rockwell Collins was a leading participant, consisted of flight tests using Rockwell Collins TDR-94D transponder and, in some instances, Rockwell Collins GPS-4000S GPS Sensor.

Based on the project’s results, Rockwell Collins and its collaborators proposed new ADS-B equipment configurations for helicopters to EASA and approval is expected later this year.

“The complexities of helicopter airframes require a different set of design and implementation criteria than fixed-wing aircraft,” said Claude Alber, vice president and managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EuMEA) for Rockwell Collins. “Knowing that GPS interference issues can arise due to the differences in aircraft attitudes during operations, helicopter airframes, engines and rotor blades, creates the need to evaluate each platform independently in order to meet the ADS-B out operating requirements.”

The integration of ADS-B out capability on helicopters greatly enhances the surveillance capability of air traffic control, especially during flights to offshore oil platforms over the often-stormy North Sea where radar surveillance is not available beyond line of sight.

In addition to its role in providing ADS-B out capability for helicopters, Rockwell Collins TDR-94D transponder is a certified Mode S transponder that complies with European surveillance requirements and is installed in thousands of business, regional and helicopter aircraft.

Rockwell Collins GPS-4000S Sensor provides enhanced GPS capability for ADS-B out implementation on helicopters. The unit is the essential system for providing high integrity position, velocity and time information for aircraft navigation, ADS-B out, and LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance) operations.

About Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, information management, and simulation and training is delivered by 20,000 employees, and a global service and support network that crosses 27 countries. To find out more, please visit

*The helicopter operators involved in the North Sea ADS-B project included Bristow, CHC, and Dancopter.


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