March 28, 2018

How to succeed during the countdown to ADS-B (Out) Compliance

The general aviation community in the U.S. is abuzz with discussions of ADS-B and the 2020 deadline. As the mandate draws near, what do you need to know?

First, many aircraft need to be upgraded in order to comply, so it is recommended that flight departments schedule the upgrades now in order to be sure that everything is completed in time to remain compliant. It is estimated that there are 105,000* aircraft that are not yet equipped, so the maintenance shops will soon become overwhelmed.

Next, be sure to make an appointment with a trusted service center that can help figure out what needs to be installed or upgraded, and can complete it in a reliable and timely manner. It is advised that operators check that their ADS-B Out solution is Version 2, particularly early-equipped aircraft that were installed with Version 0 or 1 systems. Complicating the issue is that Version 2 is not currently required for operations in all international regions of airspace, so it is possible that an aircraft re-positioned from one region to another may not be compliant.

Third, for anyone planning to buy or sell in the coming year, know what is required. Buyers should ensure that the aircraft they are buying is already compliant so that there is one less thing to worry about after closing. Ensure when undertaking Pre-Purchase Inspections that the assumption of ADS-B Out Equipped is qualified as being Version 2, check here or verify with your preferred service center. Sellers should keep in mind that, although it will be an investment of time and money to become compliant, it will make the listing much more desirable to buyers.

Last, be sure to educate yourself. Know what the mandate means, what is ADS-B, and how will the rush to comply before the deadline impact your flight department so you can be sure that you have a plan in place.

ADS-B Resources:

In a recent 3 part series, Jetcraft’s Ken Elliott covered the important details about ADS-B including equipage rates, a summary of the technology, operational requirements, technical aspects and worldwide implementation.

Part 1: Equipage rates, summarizing the technology, data sources and operational requirements. View article here.
Part 2: Exploring the technical aspects of ADS-B of possible interest to flight departments. View article here.
Part 3: Worldwide implementation and operational differences of ADS-B. View article here.

Here are a few other helpful links…

ADS-B Frequently Asked Questions – FAA

Equip ADS-B Information – FAA
(useful for Airspace requirements, List of approved ADS-B equipment by aircraft type, Equipment/aircraft performance monitoring, Certification and approvals)

Technical Overview: Surveillance – GAMA

Top 5 Myths about Equipping for ADS-B – NBAA

ADS-B Resources – NBAA

NextGen Resources – AEA

Pilot Resources – AOPA

ADS-B Out Selector Tool – AOPA

*The estimate of 105,000 aircraft needing ADS-B compliance was derived from GAMA’s estimation that the active population of U.S. General Aviation aircraft is greater than 166,000. As of March 1, 2018, 20.63% (34,246) of all US based GA fixed wing aircraft were equipped for ADS-B Out. The FAA’s March 1, 2018 count of ADS-B Out installations considered good or working correctly, of both Part 91 and 135 fixed wing aircraft, does not include Light Sport and Experimental categories of aircraft. With 131,754 aircraft not yet equipped, minus the estimated 20% that will elect not to operate where ADS-B Out is required, this leaves 105,403 installations needing to be completed over the next 22 months to meet the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out mandate deadline.


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