A recent report from the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s Office states that just 44% of general aviation aircraft are equipped with ADS-B Out, with just months remaining before the Jan. 1, 2020 mandate.
The report notes that:
- 44% of general aviation aircraft (62,494 of 143,322) that are estimated to equip with ADS-B Out have done so. This segment of operators has been slow to equip and has seen only a 56% increase in equipage since May 1, 2018.
- 63% of higher-end turbojet and turboprop aircraft (14,166 of 22,596) estimated to equip have done so.
- Conversely, only 40% of the single- and multi-engine piston aircraft (48,328 of 120,726) estimated to equip have done so.
For its audit, the IG’s office reviewed monthly data collected by FAA and MITRE from May 1, 2018, through June 1, 2019, regarding ADS-B Out equipage rates of commercial and general aviation aircraft. Officials also conducted interviews with FAA representatives, MITRE, and industry stakeholders
The report was put together at the request of Chairmen Bill Shuster and Frank LoBiondo of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and its Aviation Subcommittee, who cited concerns that aircraft owners wouldn’t meet the 2020 deadline.
“Overall, we found that ADS-B Out equipage is increasing,” Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III noted in a letter to Congress that accompanied the report. “As of June 1, 2019, 73,421 commercial, international, and general aviation aircraft were in compliance with the ADS-B-Out mandate, an increase of nearly 69% since May 1, 2018.”
However, he added, equipage rates vary by segment of the industry:
- Commercial operators have higher equipage rates than general aviation. While 76% of commercial operators have equipped their aircraft with ADS-B Out, only 44% of general aviation operators have equipped their aircraft with the technology.
- Mainline and regional commercial carriers are equipping at a higher rate than smaller commercial carriers. ADS-B Out equipage rates at mainline (81%) and regional (73%) carriers have more than doubled since May 1, 2018. However, equipage at smaller commercial operators is lagging, with only 44% of the fleet equipped.
- Equipage rates varied among general aviation operators. While 63% of higher-end turbojet and turboprop operators estimated to equip with ADS-B have done so, only 40% of single- and multi-engine piston operators estimated to equip have done so.
In his letter, Scovill notes that these are preliminary results of the audit, with the audit expected to be complete this winter. Included in the complete audit will be specific requests from Congress, including:
- Determine the equipage rates for ADS-B and other NextGen-enabling technologies on commercial and general aviation aircraft
- Ascertain the reasons behind aircraft operators’ decisions to equip or not equip with these technologies
- Assess FAA and aircraft operators’ plans to meet the 2020 ADS-B Out equipage deadline.
Are you equipped?
Have you equipped with ADS-B to meet the 2020 deadline? If so, why did you equip? If you haven’t, what’s behind that decision? Leave your answers in the comments below.