The Countdown to ADS-B Compliance
By Stephen Pope
With the clock ticking toward 2020, it is time to get serious about equipping for the ADS-B mandate.
Remember all the dire predictions about the FAA’s upcoming ADS-B equipment mandate, the ones that warned aircraft owners of a projected logjam of necessary installation work as the January 1, 2020, deadline approached? It’s looking more and more like those prognostications were spot on.
With a year and a half left to go before the ADS-B deadline, the situation for general aviation appears grim indeed. Some 13,000 $500 rebate checks out of a total allotment of 20,000 went unclaimed when a government program aimed at spurring ADS-B installations ended last September without gaining the hoped-for traction. As of the last official count, only about 35,000 Part 23 general aviation airplanes have been equipped to fly in ADS-B airspace. That leaves well more than 100,000 airplanes still without approved ADS-B Out avionics, a circumstance that is almost certain to lock a great many airplane owners out of most controlled airspace as New Year’s revelers are raising their Champagne glasses on December 31, 2019.
Somewhere around 160,000 general aviation airplanes are listed on the FAA registry, but of course not even the most pessimistic of observers believes that many airplanes need to be fitted with ADS-B Out avionics by the deadline. An unknown number of light GA airplanes sit in the weeds with flat tires and fading paint. For those owners, the ADS-B deadline is just one of many worries. The owners of many thousands more airplanes will simply choose to fly outside of ADS-B airspace, reasoning that the cost to upgrade isn’t justifiable for older aircraft with low hull values.
ADS-B In Upgrades Will Enable Interval Management for American’s A321s
ADS-B In upgrades coming to the American Airlines Airbus A321 fleet will enable the pursuit of FAA NextGen goals. Avionics recently caught up with experts from Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems to discuss ADS-B In procedures and how the upgrades will enable the use of interval management in locations such as Phoenix International Airport.
In May, Thales’ and L3’s joint venture ACSS said it would be equipping the American Airlines A321 fleet with a suite of SafeRoute ADS-B In software applications as well as supporting traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) processors and displays. The upgrades, which are already featured on American’s A330 fleet, will include cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI) technology for enhanced situational awareness, CDTI assisted visual separation (CAVS) and an initial version of interval management (IM), which is an ADS-B In application that gives pilots more control over the spacing of their aircraft relative to other ADS-B equipped aircraft arriving at busy airports.