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What do pilots do when ATC tell them "ADS-B IDENT" (for an Airbus A-330)?

It happened when the aircraft flew into Singapore FIR at FL350. At the first contact with ATC, they are told "ADS-B IDENT".

Is there any description in some manual about this term?

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As per the ICAO ADS-B Implementation and Operations Guidance Document:

5.8.1 Phraseology Standard

[...] TO REQUEST THE OPERATION OF THE ADS-B IDENT FEATURE TRANSMIT ADS-B IDENT.

As others have mentioned, similar to asking an aircraft to "SQUAWK IDENT", but outside conventional radar range.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Av.SE! Please link to the quoted document so others who are interested can read it. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jun 30 at 13:51
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It is difficult to surmise without more context, but rather than a command telling them to activate the IDENT button, perhaps ATC was informing them that they had already identified them based on their ADS-B out signal. Maybe they didn't have radar contact, but were letting them know they were receiving enough information to positively identify them so that they wouldn't need to IDENT.

Like when ATC calls traffic for a flight, and rather than visual contact the pilot responds that they are showing the traffic on their ADS-B display.

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    $\begingroup$ This is a decent possibility as well. While the FAA phraseology is "RADAR CONTACT" the ICAO phraseology is "IDENTIFIED" which (as pointed out by this answer) may be a more strictly correct term if ADS-B was used for the identification instead of PSR/SSR. I don't believe adding the specific method used ("ADS-B IDENTIFIED") is an ICAO requirement; it would be interesting to look at the Singaporean ATC handbook. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    May 8 at 22:04
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I am not sure exactly. We would definitely need more context to answer your question. Namely, where did you hear this (what country and what type of controller) and when (was the aircraft establishing initial contact with ATC, departing a towered or a non-towered airport, approaching land after flying in oceanic airspace, etc).

Without the term "ADS-B" attached to the front, the instruction IDENT means that the pilot should activate the "IDENT" function of their transponder.

See this question: How does IDENT work? for details on why ATC would tell a pilot to do this and the mechanics of how this works.

Since ADS-B broadcasts are very similar to secondary radar replies, the IDENT feature works even when an aircraft is in an ADS-B-only environment (not within secondary radar coverage).

The term "ADS-B IDENT" may also refer to the flight identification which is continually broadcast by the ADS-B unit on the aircraft; this identification may be a registration number (like N123AB or G-ABCD) or airline identification and flight number (like HAL41 or BAW123A). The controller may have been telling the pilot that the identification text being broadcast did not match the actual identification of the flight. This question provides some more information.

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  • $\begingroup$ A colleague asked me about that question,so I'm not sure about the detail. It's about 6 years ago,mabe more. They flew into Singapore FIR.When first contact with ATC,they heared"ADS-B IDENT" $\endgroup$ May 7 at 6:02

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