An FAA memorandum is causing severe turbulence for the early implementation of ADS-B equipment. The Aug. 30 memo mandates that all ADS-B equipment must be installed via a supplemental type certificate (STC).
In the memo, FAA officials state: “The FAA feels that TC, ATC or STC design approval is more appropriate to ensure consistent performance. It is expected that as both the FAA and the industry gain experience on these initial installations, that the FAA will allow other approvals, including field approvals.”
In a letter sent Oct. 4 to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, the Aircraft Electronics Association points out the unintended consequence of this action, and states the policy likely will kill not only early implementation, but also any innovation and new products that were expected to be brought to market to provide low-cost solutions for general aviation aircraft.
The policy specifically addresses the installation of products that meet TSO-C166 Revision “B” or TSO-C154 Revision “C.” This policy does not apply to Mode S transponder products that were certified to earlier revision levels of these TSOs.
AEA officials say they continue to work directly with the FAA concerning this issue, but notes that the association “cannot encourage or support the early implementation of ADS-B technology until this flawed policy has been resolved.”