TCAS II Version 7.1 Requirements in EU Airspace

As of December 1, 2015, all aircraft with a Max Takeoff Weight (MTOW) of more than 5,700kg or that have more than 19 seats are required to be equipped with Traffic Collision Avoidance System II (TCAS II) Version 7.1 when flying into, out of, or within European Union (EU) Airspace, according to European Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1332/2011.

Several issues addressed by the Version 7.1 upgrade are:

  • Reversal logic enhancement
  • “Level off” audible alert
  • Change to descend RAs at low altitudes
  • Corrects an issue that occurs as an aircraft descends through 1,000’ above ground level (AGL)
  • Corrections for multi-aircraft logic concerns, reducing the risk of close encounters within RVSM airspace
  • Modifies the status report sent to the aircraft’s Mode S transponders informing of its 7.1 Hybrid Surveillance capability.

All aircraft manufactured since March 2012 are equipped with TCAS II version 7.1. However, any aircraft equipped with TCAS II version 7.0 software and operating within European Union airspace must upgrade to version 7.1 by the December 1st mandate.

TCAS II provides vertical rate Resolution Advisories (RAs) to pilots, informing them when and how to adjust their vertical speed to avoid collisions. The TCAS II version 7.1 upgrade replaces several confusing “Adjust Vertical Speed, Adjust” RAs with a single “Level Off, Level Off” RA, which requires a reduction of vertical rate to 0 ft/min.

Level Off 7.0 and 7.1

Credit: EuroControl

The upgrade also improves flight safety by correcting an issue with the TCAS reversal logic in the event that one of the alerted flight crews does not comply with a resolution advisory or initiates an opposite maneuver.

Improved Reversal Logic

Credit: EuroControl

References

The information provided is based on current information at time of publication and may be subject to change.
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