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Confused about ADS-B and unsure of what is required?

Harry Lees, our principal European avionics consultant has over four decades of experience working across various types, explains the basics of ADS-B and why action is required sooner than later.


What is ADS-B?

ADS-B OUT (Automatic Dependant Surveillance – Broadcast) requires that the aircraft transmits its own GPS position via the Mode S transponder, regardless of whether the aircraft is being interrogated by a ground radar or by another aircraft’s TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System). The GPS source must meet high accuracy and integrity requirements only available from a qualified WAAS GPS.

The European airspace mandate for ADS-B OUT is effective from June 2020, and from January 2020 for US airspace operations.

All aircraft with a MTOW of 5700Kg or above, OR a max cruising TAS of 250kts or above at ISA, must comply (the same requirements as the current EHS Mode S transponder mandate). The US has an extended mandate covering smaller General Aviation aircraft depending on their location.


Why has this mandate come about?

ADS-B allows a higher number of aircraft to access controlled airspace, improving capacity for what are predicted to become ever more crowded skies.


Is this a mandate I can ‘avoid’?

The simple answer is ‘no’. Avoidance and non-compliance will mean several things these being:

  • Your aircraft will not be permitted into controlled airspace, so no IFR operations.
  • Your aircraft is likely to be effectively grounded
  • Your airworthiness covenants with a lending bank are likely to have been broken

 


Yes, but there is plenty of time?

There is less than three years until both mandates come into effect, which seems like a long time. That is until you consider how many aircraft require avionics updates to comply (approximately 70% of the US business aviation fleet is yet to be upgraded). By leaving your update you will:

  • Suffer from potential price rises due to supply and demand
  • A lack of capacity available at MRO’s capable of delivering the work
  • A shortage of parts from the avionics suppliers. Already we are being advised of 8-10 week delays for parts.

Given there are so many aircraft to update, the deadline will change, won’t it?

The deadline has already been extended from 2017 to 2020 and it seems extremely unlikely that further extensions will be granted. In other jurisdictions that have applied ADS-B deadlines have remained firm and the FAA have been clear in their policy that any aircraft entering controlled airspace after the deadline must be compliant, even going as far as saying:

“I’m going to say this as plainly as I can: The ADS-B equipage deadline is not changing. If you plan to fly your plane in most controlled airspace after December 31, 2019, you’re going to need to install ADS-B.” FAA’s Acting Deputy Administrator, Victoria Wassmer, April 2017.

Perhaps I’ll sell the aircraft prior to the mandate and let someone else deal with the problem

A number of factors will determine if this is the correct course of action, but in most scenarios we have explored, there will be a sting in the tail. Any aircraft coming into the current market without TCAS 7.1 or ADS-B is automatically artificially depreciated, with your sales broker automatically being at a disadvantage in price negotiations.
 

Still confused about your options? Book your aircraft for an upgrade?

Give my assistant a call on +44 1252 553070 to arrange a telephone call. I’ll be more than happy to help.

We have solutions for all King Airs requiring ADS-B for the King Air 90 to more recent Proline 21 equipped aircraft.

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