So far we’ve had an overview of the entire process of selecting your ADS-B equipment, with a focus on certain elements that will help aircraft owners choose the right avionics shop for their ADS-B needs. We’ve also taken a look at one of the primary roadblocks owners will encounter; finding a shop that has the correct approved solution for their aircraft and equipment selection. Now we’re going to take a look at the other major bottleneck that will affect owners – scheduling.
Normally, scheduling avionics service isn’t a problem. You simply find a shop that has the capacity to perform the upgrade you’re looking for, book service, and you’re done. However, due to the fact that the ADS-B mandate has a specific deadline in place, outside factors are putting pressure on avionics shops that can dramatically alter this landscape.
To illustrate this, put yourself in the shoes of an avionics shop. You know that you will be able to service “x” number of planes per week, of each of the different approved solutions you are offering to the public. While it may be possible to train additional personnel if there is a ton of excess demand, as the ADS-B mandate is a one-shot deal, this isn’t likely a cost-effective solution. So in essence, your total work capacity is your total work capacity, and no more, no matter what.
The FAA, who has a very good grasp of exactly how many aircraft are in the country, along with an equally good grasp of the number of qualified avionics repair stations out there, estimates that upwards of 90% of current servicing capacity will be required simply to make the deadline on time.
This means that, even if you find an avionics shop that has the approved solution you require, if you don’t book your service early enough, you may not be able to book with them at all, if they have sold all of their available installation slots by the time you get around to scheduling your service.
This may put you in the position of having to look much further afield than you would prefer to find a shop that has the capacity, or even worse, put you in the position of being forced to pay a premium above and beyond what the equipment and installation would typically cost simply to get your foot in the door – the laws of supply and demand are in play here, and don’t think the avionics shops are unaware of this. Do you really want to pay extra and need to take your plane an extra thousand miles out of the way to get your equipment installed by the deadline?
Ultimately, the best way for aircraft owners to avoid this all-but-guaranteed bottleneck of available ADS-B installation slots is to select their ADS-B equipment right away so they know which approved solution they will need, then find an avionics shop which offers it and at least put a down payment on your installation, securing your slot.
The Equip ADS-B Marketplace can make the process of dealing with this bottleneck much easier for aircraft owners, since it enables avionics shops who have both the required approved solution as well as available installation lots to identify customers and reach out to them directly, based on their RFQs. In fact, the longer an owner waits to schedule service, the more invaluable the Marketplace will be for them, since nearly all their own legwork will result in responses of “Sorry, but we’re out of installation slots.”, and that never happens on the Marketplace.
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