The Plane Truth about ADS-B for Your Aircraft

Your aircraft will be grounded if not ADS-B Out compliant before the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline!

That’s a strong statement and maybe hard to hear, but the FAA is not backing down on this. All aircraft that plan on flying in airspace that requires Mode C or Mode S transponders will be grounded if not ADS-B Out compliant.

According to AmStat and ADS-B Exchange, less than 40 percent of U.S.-based business jets and turboprops currently meet the FAA’s ADS-B Out equipment mandate. And other data suggests that over 30 percent of the aircraft operators whose aircraft are not yet ADS-B Out compliant still don’t have a plan for how they will make the upgrade.

The FAA remains clear that they have no intentions of pushing back the deadline. As the date nears, it will become significantly more difficult to find a shop for installation. Equipment and labor prices are not getting any cheaper and shop capacity is becoming an issue. The more complex your equipment interface is, the sooner you should act to schedule an installation solution.

What equipment do I need for ADS-B compliance?

The first item you will need is a WAAS position source. This calculates your required altitude, speed, track and position information from signals it gathers from GPS satellites and WAAS signal corrections

You will also need a way to broadcast this information to ADS-B ground stations. If your aircraft flies at or above 18,000 ft. over the U.S., or if you fly anywhere internationally, you will be required to use the 1090 MHz frequency using a Mode S Extended Squitter (ES) transponder.

If your aircraft only flies below 18,000 ft. and only in the U.S., you can choose to use a dedicated 978 MHz Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) instead. The 978 MHz UAT frequency will allow you to keep an existing Mode C or Mode S transponder that your aircraft may already be equipped with. Installing a 978 MHz UAT with ADS-B “In” technology will allow you to view Traffic Information Service-Broadcast (TIS-B) and Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) information on a compatible flight display.

If you intend to operate your aircraft beyond 2019, it’s in your best interest to discuss options with your service provider in the very near future. KCAC Aviation’s team of experts can help you determine the best solution for your aircraft configuration. To learn more about ADS-B compliance and the available solutions, please contact Steve Hinkle at 866.359.5222.

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