Oct. 30, 2014

Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs, shared Member Companies’ concerns about the Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) system at the FAA’s “Call to Action” summit, held Oct. 28 in Washington, DC. The meeting attracted more than100 representatives from government and industry organizations.

The FAA’s goal for the summit was to work with industry representatives to identify and overcome the barriers to operators equipping with ADS-B Out avionics by the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline.

Carr expressed concerns about the challenges of maintaining privacy on ADS-B Out equipped aircraft, while other industry representatives relayed a variety of concerns of aircraft owners and operators, including questions regarding the overall benefit of ADS-B.

The agency remains focused on touting the benefits of ADS-B, including the decreased likelihood of mid-air collisions, more efficient routings and fuel savings, while acknowledging that industry concerns need reasonable solutions to encourage greater equipage.

“The ADS-B summit was a worthwhile effort to identify and share industry challenges to meeting the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline,” said Carr. “Over the course of the day we identified a number of obstacles and offered potential solutions across a number of broad areas, including the implementation timeline, pilot and operator education, greater benefits of ADS-B and harmonization with the international community.”

Only a fraction of the active aircraft on the U.S. registry have been equipped with the GPS receiver, 1090 MHz extended quitter or 978 MHz universal access transceiver, and antenna required for ADS-B Out compliance. Data presented by the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) suggested that the industry would need to equip 85 aircraft per day to meet the 2020 deadline. Instead, AEA member companies average 75 Part 25 aircraft ADS-B retrofits per year. Equipping a Part 25 aircraft requires approximately 57 man-hours over an average of 11 working days. Part 23 aircraft equipage requires approximately 34 man-hours. AEA member companies report averaging 60 ADS-B installations on Part 23 airplanes per year.

Going forward, the ADS-B initiative will be managed by the NextGen Institute in a working group called “Equip 2020.” The group will be led by U.S. Air Force Major General (ret.) Marke “Hoot” Gibson, who is the executive director of the NextGen Institute, and will meet in November to discuss the industries’ challenges and potential solutions.

For many years, NBAA has been deeply involved in helping to ensure that NextGen planning addresses the needs of business aviation. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen was appointed by the FAA administrator to serve on the agency’s NextGen advisory committee. Steve Brown, NBAA’s chief operating officer, serves on the National Research Council, which provides guidance on FAA’s NextGen research programs. Bob Lamond, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure, along with several members of NBAA’s Air Traffic Services group, are on numerous working groups that deal with NextGen equipage, including ADS-B.

“NBAA has been engaged on ADS-B with the FAA for many years, and we will continue that engagement as we approach the 2020 deadline,” said Carr. “However, aircraft owners and operators should begin assessing their path to compliance today as the FAA reaffirmed that the 2020 mandate is here to stay.”