The FAA’s deadline for equipping with ADS-B Out in aircraft flying in most controlled airspace was Jan. 1, 2020, but not all aircraft owners met that deadline. And so, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, installations have continued.
“The FAA has identified an additional 21,175 aircraft equipped since the ADS-B mandate entered into effect at the beginning of the year,” said Jens Hennig, vice president of operations for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and co-chair of the ADS-B Equip 2020 working group’s general aviation subcommittee. “ADS-B enabled transponders are now standard equipage in the U.S. and most aviation markets around the world. We have seen continued equipage occur this spring, including during the pandemic restrictions.”
About 3,600 installations were completed in March, fewer than 3,000 in April, and more than 3,100 in May.
In the U.S., the airline fleet met the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline and the vast majority of the business jet segment were compliant by the deadline. It’s likely the majority of these new installations are in experimental aircraft, piston aircraft, or rotorcraft, according to general aviation advocates.
In total, almost 100,000 general aviation aircraft now have ADS-B installed, according to FAA data.
The FAA offers deviations from the ADS-B Out mandate on a limited basis through the ADS-B Deviation Authorization Preflight Tool (ADAPT). Aircraft must be equipped with an operational transponder and operational altitude encoder (Mode C) to be approved for a deviation.
U.S. aircraft owners of ADS-B Out equipped aircraft are encouraged to request a Public ADS-B Performance Report to validate proper performance of their equipment.
Meanwhile, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led the European Commission to postpone its ADS-B Out requirement from June 7, 2020, to Dec. 7, 2020, for aircraft receiving their certificate of airworthiness on or after Dec. 7, 2020. For aircraft that obtained a certificate of airworthiness between June 6, 1995, and June 6, 2020, that deadline is now June 7, 2023, but a retrofit plan must be submitted by Dec. 7, 2020. The mandate applies only to aircraft with MTOW exceeding 5,700 kg (12,566 pounds) or having maximum cruising true airspeed capability greater than 250 knots.
In Europe, aircraft with a certificate of airworthiness pre-dating June 6, 1995, are exempt from the ADS-B mandate.