ADS-B Privacy

Does anyone know why the PIA (Privacy ICAO Address) program for ADS-B is only available with 1090ES and not 978 UAT transmitters?

3 Replies

I believe the FAA did not consider 978 UAT's for PIA because it has anonymous mode and are allowed to use when:

  1. the pilot has filed a VFR flight plan
  2. the pilot has not requested ATC services
  3. the operation is outside of ADS-B rule airspace (14CFR 91.225)
Response from FAA's PIA office:
One of the primary reasons that PIA is not available for UAT aircraft is the potential for an aircraft flying with a PIA in their UAT and their regularly assigned ICAO in their Mode S transponder. ATC would receive a conflict alert from this aircraft which would be interpreted by ATC Automation as two different aircraft in the same location.
To avoid this risk UAT aircraft were not included in the PIA Program.
Additionally UAT does have the option of using Anonymous Mode to conceal the aircraft’s identity so long as the pilot is not using ATC services.
At this time there are no plans to add UAT aircraft to the PIA Program.

Unfortunately that doesn't help those who have UAT without anonymous mode (Navworx) or when squawking other than 1200. I'm not some kind of privacy nut and I don't fly in any way that would make me want to avoid particular attention. Nevertheless it has always rankled that as part of the price of adopting this very cool safety enhancing technology, anyone anywhere can find out who owns that plane that just took off or landed or flew over their house.
This is yet-another FAA self-inflicted wound that will result in the very opposite of what they wanted.  As soon as they allowed private companies (e.g. FlightAware) real-time access to the FAA's transponder feed, "private" aviation became public to any dweeb with an Internet connection.  Can you imagine the furor if drivers on toll-roads found out that the license plate scanner feed was available to the general public?  Or that Waze was sharing your location information with their premiere sponsors?

This has had three effects on my flying:
 1) I used to file IFR for the convenience of navigation, weather, and separation.  Now it's all VFR.
 2) I used to fly routes that took me over controlled airspace.  Now I go around them squawking 1200.  I monitor the facilities I am near but don't talk to them.
 3) I won't equip with ADS-B/out.  If I absolutely must land at a field within a Class B/C/D, I use ADAPT.
I know for a fact that I'm not the only pilot who does this.  One of the unanticipated consequences is that there is more traffic in the corridors between the ADS-B/out airspaces.

Want to take any bets on how soon you will start receiving "We see you're on the ground at KGSO - Applebee's is offering a $2 beer with any dinner" tweets?