Why hasn’t FAA acted on ADS-B loan guarantee for GA?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Why has the FAA not taken action on implementing a loan guarantee program for general aviation to prepare for the mandate for ADS-B equipment three years after Congress passed a law approving it? That is a question Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), who chairs the Committee on Small Business, asked in a recent letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

During a hearing in June before the committee, Huerta said lack of appropriations was a reason for the failure.



“Since the program can be operated at zero cost through premiums an fees,” Graves said in his letter, “it is not clear why the agency believes appropriations to be necessary.”

He added that if appropriations were necessary he wondered why such a request was not included in the President’s budget request for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

ADS-B is needed by 2020 to comply with the FAA’s mandate for NextGen.


  1. Tom says

    Dollar down and a dollar a week,
    You can get anything you seek,
    Stop those AD-SB geeks,
    Stop those third class medical freaks,
    Just keep me and my airplane meek,
    And my instrument panel DON’T tweek.

  2. Paul says

    I agree with the preceding posts in that the government’s involvement in setting aviation standards with respect to equipment required to operate in the national airspace system is precisely why the price for said equipment is always so much higher that it otherwise would be. Let the free market or at least what’s left of our free market determine the price while our currency is still viable. The U.S. dollar is not expected to remain the world’s reserve currency much longer at the rate we’re piling up debt and printing money to pay the debt.

  3. Guido says

    Bad idea. Just like student loans this will not help in lowering prices but will instead bump them up. Let the market deal with it.

  4. Kent Misegades says

    If ADS-B is dependent on government-backed loans, which essentially pushes risk and cost onto the backs of unwitting taxpayers, it is already doomed to failure. Why not let free markets work this put, as they have done so-well with the European FLARM system, completely private and the creation of two smart Swiss glider pilots? Get government and taxpayer support out of the picture and we’ll see effective, low-cost so.utions. Does the US GA community really need something from the same people who brought us Obama-Care?

    • says

      Loan guarantees are a terrible idea. Any way you cut it, it’s still a loan and must be repaid. The government always acts like a loan is helpful rather than adding onto debt loading.

      Guido and Kent are both right on the money. Let’s let the free market run with this to drive the price down. You’ll note there are already full implementations of ADS-B in/out with TIS-B and FIS-B for roughly the same price as an low end transponder. It’s the TSO fixed installation standards for standard airworthiness certificated aircraft that are unaffordable for many. How about getting the FAA out of the way and let the market drive the pricing rather than the FAA forcing it to be unnecessarily expensive.

      I currently have the SkyGuard implementation, with full weather and traffic displayed to my iFly GPS. It can be bought as a bundle for $1900 or just buy the SkyGuard unit and let it talk to your iPad for $1400. Free market competition will likely drive those prices down over the next few years if we can keep the FAA from over regulating it.

      • Sarah A says

        That is all great, you have ADS-B IN which is what we want for the weather and traffic. That is not going to help with the ADS-B Out mandate after 2020 unless your GPS receiver meets the TSO-C146A requirements. As far as I know none of these simple GPS solutions that work so nicely now are certified to this TSO and when you go shoping for them be prepared for the sticker shock. Apparently the FAA allows the non-TSO’d GPS up untill 2020 and then cuts them off. That is where the big bucks will start to come in when yoy have to buy that GPS receiver that has that nice shiney TSO sticker (must be made out of gold I guess based on price). There is nothing magical about these new GPS receivers we will be required to have other then being WAAS capable but then most if not all of the non-TSO units already support WAAS.

    • says

      Comparison between ADS-B and the privately held Flarm technology is interesting on many levels.

      As with ADS-B, Flarm is based on a concept of disseminating GPS-derived position data with a digital radio broadcast. It requires active participation via a beacon on the part of each individual who desires to be seen (and avoided), non-participates are not identified by the system. Due to limitations of range vehicle speed and ATC limitations Flarm is restricted to a supplemental role in “See and Avoid” VFR flight only.

      Financially Flarm is well subsidies via the philanthropy of the original developers (and owners of the Intellectual Property rights). In 2007 the founders received a “lifeline” from the open pit mining industry, quickly spinning off with technology sharing between Flarm and a new sister company SAFEmine. In a recent article the owners stated “… SAFEmine today provides the main source of income… Flarm and SAFEmine share some parts of R&D activities for the mutual benefit of the two markets, as the underlying technology and embedded platform have a lot in common.” ADS-B like Flarm, will benefit from financial leveraging. Let’s face it; we are dealing with U.S. consumers most buyers are going to take out a loan. Be it long-term or short-term card debt, it is going to happen. Thus Loan guarantees, though not as good as having someone else pay part of the cost of R&D and keep the company a float… lower interstates will provide some financial benefit.

      Finally the creators of Flarm have from its inception, seen it as an interim solution – until (if) ADS-B is in place.

      Ref: http://www.flarm.com/

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