Aug. 22, 2014

The European Commission recently announced a delay in the deadline for aircraft operators to outfit their aircraft with ADS-B Out equipment. The original compliance dates to operate in European ADS-B airspace were Jan. 8, 2015 for new aircraft and Dec. 7, 2017 for aircraft needing retrofit installations. The new compliance dates are June 8, 2016 for new aircraft and June 7, 2020 for aircraft needing retrofits.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require ADS-B Out performance by Jan. 1, 2020 to operate in designated airspace.

ADS-B, or automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, transmits an aircraft’s position, velocity, heading, altitude and other information to ADS-B receivers, and it is important for aircraft to have this capability in order to operate safely and efficiently in the NextGen air traffic management system.

“The delay of the European ADS-B Out mandate might be helpful for operators who need additional time to comply, but we encourage NBAA Member Companies to install ADS-B equipment as soon as possible,” said Brian Koester, NBAA’s project manager, operations and the staff liaison to the NBAA Domestic Operations Committee. “Current estimates by industry experts indicate only a small percentage of affected aircraft have been upgraded at this point, and it’s possible a last-minute rush to comply could result in resource shortages. Equipment suppliers and qualified technicians might not be able to keep up with demand if aircraft owners and operators leave compliance to the last few months or year.”

ADS-B Out requires a compliant GPS receiver, a 1090 MHz extended squitter or a 978 MHz universal access transceiver, and an antenna. For some aircraft requiring retrofit, particularly smaller or older aircraft, ADS-Out is not a simple installation, and in some cases can be costly.

“We know some aircraft owners and operators are facing challenges in equipping their aircraft with ADS-B,” said Koester. “However, the FAA has indicated that the U.S compliance date is firm and operators shouldn’t expect the FAA to follow the European Commission’s delay of compliance requirements. It’s important to start working with a reputable repair shop long before the compliance date to avoid any unwelcome surprises.”