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Removing an aircraft from the NSAL

FAA Flight Standards will attempt to contact registered owners of aircraft with significant or chronic ADS-B performance issue(s) via phone or email if possible; otherwise, a registered letter is sent to the address listed in the FAA aircraft registry. The letter is not a Letter of Investigation, but simply a notification that performance issue(s) have been detected; it asks the owner/operator to contact an FAA inspector and coordinate a plan for corrective action. When an aircraft is registered to an out-of-state holding company or LLC, delivery of the letter may be delayed or the owner may never receive it. If the owner does not contact the FAA within the specified time frame, typically 45 days, the aircraft will be added to the ADS-B No Services Aircraft List (NSAL).

The NSAL mitigates hazards posed by ADS-B Out-equipped aircraft transmitting erroneous or hazardously misleading information by withholding their data from air traffic control automation. Air traffic controllers will not see the aircraft’s ADS-B data and the aircraft will not receive ADS-B-based ATC services, including Traffic Information Services-Broadcast (TIS-B) data.

An operator who has not received a letter can find out if an aircraft is on the NSAL by requesting an ADS-B performance report from the FAA’s Public ADS-B Performance Report Request website. The text “Aircraft is on the No Services List” will appear in red on the PAPR cover page if it is on the NSAL.

If you receive a registered letter from the FAA, contact the inspector who sent the letter for assistance in removing the aircraft from the NSAL. If you find that your aircraft is on the NSAL and you did not receive an FAA letter, email FAA Flight Standards for assistance.

An aircraft on the NSAL is not compliant with FAR 91.227, and cannot legally be flown in the ADS-B rule airspace defined by FAR 91.225 without an ADS-B Deviation Authorization Preflight Tool (ADAPT) authorization. ADAPT allows an aircraft to access ADS-B rule airspace with ADS-B installed but not working, which is the case for any aircraft on the NSAL, or if ADS-B is not installed. An authorization can only be requested online, at least one hour and not more than 24 hours before the proposed flight. AOPA has developed a comprehensive ADAPT Fact Sheet that includes a step-by-step guide for requesting an authorization.

If the aircraft’s ADS-B has been repaired and the pilot seeks to conduct a verification flight, he or she must make an ADAPT authorization request and, beside “Reason for Request,” select “NSAL Verification Flight” from the drop-down menu. An operator also can select “ADS-B Equipment Repair,” if appropriate, to be considered for an authorization. Operators found to be abusing ADAPT will be placed on the ADAPT Deny List.

Because the aircraft is on the NSAL, during verification flight(s) ATC will not see your ADS-B data (and does not know whether you have received an ADAPT authorization). If the controller states that no ADS-B data is received, acknowledge, but do not recycle your ADS-B hardware because doing so might cause your ADS-B to fail the PAPR. (If the controller instructs you to recycle your transponder, do so, but note the time of the request—recycling the transponder often resets your ADS-B and might cause a failing PAPR for the flight).

After proper performance of the ADS-B equipment has been validated, it typically takes about 30 days to remove an aircraft from the NSAL. If a NSAL operator needs an airspace authorization for a flight while waiting for the aircraft to be removed from the NSAL, he/she may make an ADAPT request and should select “NSAL Verification Flight” from the drop-down menu. While the ADAPT User’s Guide will be updated as needed, specific guidance from the FAA inspector on ADAPT usage should be followed—even if it contradicts the current User’s Guide.

The FAA inspector handling a particular aircraft’s NSAL status may be able to give a general time frame for the removal of the aircraft from the NSAL, and can positively confirm its removal upon request. The operator also can confirm its removal by requesting an ADS-B Performance Report and verifying the cover page does not state “Aircraft is on the No Services List.”

Complied by Mike Collins, updated June 18, 2020