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Fact Sheet – Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out Equipage Rule

For Immediate Release

December 14, 2017
Contact: Tammy Jones or Paul Takemoto
Phone: 202-267-3883

As demand for our nation's airspace grows, NextGen technologies and procedures are making air travel safer and more efficient, with less impact on the environment.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a foundational NextGen technology that transforms aircraft surveillance using satellite-based positioning. The ADS-B ground infrastructure is complete and operational today. Air traffic controllers across the nation are able to monitor aircraft using either ground-based radar or ADS-B.

The general aviation community will benefit greatly from ADS-B, but many operators have yet to equip their aircraft with ADS-B avionics.  This equipment will be mandatory for all aircraft flying in certain controlled airspace beginning on Jan. 1, 2020.

Benefits of ADS-B for General Aviation:
General aviation and air taxi aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out enjoy more efficient spacing and optimal routing in some non-radar environments, including busy airspace in the Gulf of Mexico, mountainous regions of Colorado, and the lower altitudes of Alaska. Furthermore, general aviation pilots can receive air traffic control services outside radar coverage due to ADS-B.

ADS-B improves life-saving search-and-rescue with accurate and timely last-reported positions.

Although not mandated, ADS-B In avionics and cockpit displays offer transformative services at no subscription cost to users. These include:

  • Cockpit displays of nearby air traffic for an environment of shared situational awareness with other pilots and controllers.
  • Graphical weather displays to pilots to help avoid the dangers of hazardous weather and make better-informed decisions on most efficient routes.
  • Important aeronautical information from the Notices to Airmen, such as temporary flight restrictions or closed runways.

Required ADS-B equipment for certain controlled airspace:
The equipment used to broadcast GPS-derived location information, ADS-B Out, is mandated by 2020 for aircraft flying in certain airspace – generally the same busy airspace where transponders are required today. Aircraft that fly in uncontrolled airspace where no transponders are required, and aircraft without electrical systems, such as balloons and gliders, are exempt from the mandate.

To meet the minimum requirement for ADS-B Out, aircraft must be equipped with:

  • An approved GPS receiver
  • An ADS-B Out system (extended squitter or universal access transceiver)
  • Antennas for the GPS receiver and ADS-B Out system

Owners can install a minimal ADS-B Out system to meet requirements of the rule, or they can integrate with “ADS-B In” avionics and displays to reap additional benefits like cockpit displays that show free traffic, weather and flight information.

When to Equip with ADS-B Out:
Aircraft owners should equip as soon as possible to capture the benefits of ADS-B and ensure they will be able to fly in designated airspace when the rule is enforced on Jan. 1, 2020. The FAA will not extend the deadline beyond that date.

The agency estimates that between 100,000 and 160,000 general aviation aircraft will need to equip with ADS-B Out. Unless equipage rates increase now, installation shops could be overwhelmed during the rush of the final two years. If too many operators wait, suppliers and installers will not be able to keep up with demand. This will result in a bottleneck of long wait times and possibly higher installation prices.

There are no obstacles now for owners to equip. All standards for certification and operational approvals have been in place since 2011. Additional guidance, such as operations specifications and guidance for field approval, also has been published. Approximately 1,100 certified repair stations are ready to install ADS-B avionics.

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