By January 1, 2020, the majority of aircraft that operate in the United States must be equipped with an ADS-B Out transponder. The new FAA mandate requires all business aircraft that operate above 10,000 feet in U.S. airspace must meet ADS-B Out compliance, which includes any aircraft operated by Jet Linx. Curious about what this mandate means to your current aircraft or its potential impact on a future acquisition? Read on to learn more about the mandate compliance process.
Jet Linx Aviation Director of Maintenance Tony Boatwright and Maintenance Coordinator Gary Anderson are familiar with ADS-B solutions available for aircraft that need to install new systems to meet the standard before the deadline. Their most important piece of advice? Make strides to get it done now, before it’s too late.
The first step in the ADS-B installation process is understanding what your aircraft needs, how much it is going to cost, and planning accordingly. “You have to research the solutions, find out what solutions are available for your aircraft, and then schedule a time to get it done in the shop,” says Anderson. “Fortunately, our accomplished team of maintenance professionals are well versed in ADS-B requirements and have connections with the right folks to get the job done. We can identify the right vendor, at the right cost, and see the process through to completion.”
Companies such as Garmin, Honeywell, and Rockwell Collins are among those offering ADS-B solutions. The team points out that It is important to realize that not all aircraft are going to require the same upgrades, and some may take longer than others. According to Boatwright, once in the shop the downtime for most aircraft is 10 to 14 days. After installation, the aircraft will require operational testing to ensure the system functions properly and to work out any bugs.
Though the steps for an ADS-B upgrade seem simple and the mandate doesn’t take effect for another three years, the Jet Linx team advises aircraft owners to get it done as soon as possible. Many vendors and bigger shops equipped to install these updates are already backlogged with requests, and chances are the stream of aircraft needing upgrade is just getting started.
“There are a lot of hidden components in this process that you might not realize could cause problems and take time,” explains Boatwright. “The price of equipment and the installation is going up as the deadline approaches, not down as many had hoped. You really shouldn’t wait.” Many aircraft owners have pinned their hopes on an extension, believing the mandate’s deadline will be pushed – but according to the FAA, the date is final. Aircraft that don’t meet ADS-B compliance by January 1 of 2020 will face grounding.
“Some owners don’t think they will keep the aircraft for that long, and therefore don’t want to pay the cost of having ADS-B installed. That may be the case, but you are absolutely going to get more for your aircraft on resale if it is equipped for the mandates that are coming,” says Anderson.
Ray Bennett, Jet Linx Aviation Vice President of Sales, advises any aircraft owner that has considered putting their plane on the market in the near future should have ADS-B installed, regardless of the cost. “The purchasing party is going to see that the aircraft is not ADS-B compliant and their offer will be reflective of what the installation is going to cost. So in essence, the owner is going to be paying for it either way,” explains Bennett.
The effects of the FAA mandate are already beginning to show on the marketplace. James Becker, an Accredited Senior Appraiser for Elliott Aviation, has noticed that buyers are starting to view ADS-B as a requirement in the purchase decision. “If you look at what’s on the market right now in any given category, I think the majority of aircraft for sale do not have ADS-B, and we are getting very close to ADS-B affecting the value of an aircraft on the market,” said Becker.
Since many shops are already backlogged and the turn time for components being upgraded is already on the rise, anyone in the market for an aircraft should makeADS-B compliance one of their deciding factors. “If somebody is in market to buy an aircraft, they need look for an aircraft that is ADS-B compliant or to negotiate the cost of having it installed as a part of the deal,” suggests Bennett.
“In the buying and selling of aircraft, ADS-B will be a big topic. When looking at aircraft for sale, there will be a line item on specification sheets to tell you if it’s ADS-B compliant,” explains Bennett. “Don’t just rely on the spec sheet – also look at results from the pre-purchase inspection. And remember that the Jet Linx team of sales, acquisition and maintenance experts is here to be your advocate in finding the right aircraft that will, at point of purchase or following, stand ready to meet the ADS-B requirement in 2020.”