In the first article in this series, we took an in-depth look at how the ADS-B upgrade process works, and many of the concerns that you as an aircraft owner will face when deciding what equipment to purchase and who will install it. Next, we’re going to look at approved solutions, and how they can potentially impact your choice of avionics shops.
Essentially, avionics shops have to either purchase or develop on their own – at significant expense, what the FAA has labeled as ‘Approved Solutions’ for ADS-B equipment installations. An approved solution is a pairing of a particular model of aircraft along with a specific type of ADS-B equipment. Approved solutions are unique to both the plane and ADS-B equipment models, meaning that every different combination requires an additional expensive certification and approval process.
What this means for you as an aircraft owner is that once you have decided what kind of ADS-B equipment you’re interested in having installed, you have to locate an avionics shop that is in possession of an approved solution that matches both your ADS-B selection as well as your aircraft.
This may not be an issue if you own a popular model of aircraft, live in an area that has enough population to support a variety of avionics repair stations throughout your region, and select a popular model of ADS-B equipment from a major manufacturer. However, the more customized your aircraft is, the more specialized the ADS-B equipment you choose, or the more remote your area is, the harder it will be to locate a shop that has an FAA approved solution that fits your needs.
The big takeaway for owners is that they need to decide on the specific model of ADS-B equipment they intend to purchase as early as possible, so that they can begin contacting avionics shops looking for one that has the appropriate approved solution. The more sophisticated or out of the ordinary either the owners’ plane or the ADS-B equipment is, the harder this search will be.
The Equip ADS-B Marketplace really streamlines this part of the prospecting process for aircraft owners, as it enables them to easily put out a request for quotation (RFQ) that identifies the model of aircraft they are trying to outfit, as well as their geographic location and several other factors. This enables interested avionics repair stations in their region (and beyond, if they feel their quote will be competitive enough in terms of price to justify it) who are in possession of approved solutions for their aircraft to directly reach out and contact them, eliminating a substantial amount of legwork and time spent.
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