The FAA is encouraging the manufacturers of special light sport aircraft (SLSAs) to develop plans for the installation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) equipment and angle of attack indicators in their aircraft.
In a letter sent to 65 SLSA manufacturers, the FAA’s Small Aircraft Directorate urged the manufacturers to make plans for the airworthiness approval of ADS-B Out equipment to meet the 2020 mandate. The FAA also asked the manufacturers to promote the installation of angle of attack indicators in new and existing aircraft as a way to help reduce general aviation loss-of-control accidents, according to a report at AOPA.org.
Under certification requirements for SLSAs, the manufacturer is responsible for the design, continued operational safety, and quality of all equipment installed in the aircraft. The manufacturer must also review any changes to existing aircraft to ensure they still meet the requirements of the accepted consensus standards. This means that until manufacturers take action to approve the installation of ADS-B equipment, individual LSA owners cannot meet the FAA’s mandate.
“If you have not already done so, you may want to begin formulating a plan for the initial installation and airworthiness approvals of ADS-B Out equipment on your aircraft — to be ready for requests from owners/operators,” the letter said.
The letter also noted that the ADS-B equipment must meet the “performance” requirements of the technical standard order (TSO) for ADS-B Out. This means TSO approval is not necessary.
“The FAA is already in consultation with recognized aviation groups and the aviation industry to discuss ways to meet the requirements of the ADS-B rule, specifically for application to SLSA,” the letter said.
Aircraft must be equipped with ADS-B Out by Jan. 1, 2020, to continue operating in airspace where a Mode C transponder is required today. A letter sent Jan. 23 to the FAA by 14 aviation groups, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, noted that for many LSA owners, there is currently no path to compliance with the 2020 mandate,.
In that letter, the groups emphasized their support for universal participation in ADS-B, but pointed out that many hurdles to compliance remain.