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The relentless ticking clock for ADS-B compliance

News   •   Apr 03, 2018 13:29 CEST

At the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention in November 2016 Satair Group and Honeywell Aerospace announced a five-year exclusive agreement under which inventory management and distribution for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) implementation on Primus II-equipped business aviation aircraft will be handled by Satair Group.

Whilst this agreement greatly increases the availability and reduces lead times of the equipment and upgrades required to meet the mandate, after a year’s duration it is becoming clear that many business aircraft owners are not responding swiftly enough to the imperative need to get their aircraft fully ADS-B compliant by the due dates.

Eric Stuck of Satair Group explains the issues and why business aircraft owners need to take this mandatory requirement seriously and in good time. In particular, he estimates that at the present rate of conversion/upgrade around 1,000 Primus II-equipped business aircraft will not make the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ADS-B deadline of December 31, 2019 and will to all intents and purposes be grounded.

Eric is a business aviation veteran with over 30 years experience and has held many different positions within the aviation industry.

Top Level ADS-B Mandate Questions and Answers:

What are the exact dates the FAA and EASA are mandating for ADS-B?

December 31, 2019 for the FAA and June 6, 2020 for EASA.

Isn't the FAA and perhaps EASA just going to push the compliance dates out due to so many aircraft projected not to be equipped?

The FAA and EASA have made it clear for years that the dates are set and will not move as ADS-B in the US was first announced in 2010 and the airlines will all be equipped.

What is the ramification of not being equipped with ADS-B by the mandate deadlines?

Aircraft not equipped with ADS-B will be relegated to Class E airspace only under 10,000 feet, so for any turbine powered aircraft, the aircraft is essentially grounded.

How do you justify the statement that around 1000 business aircraft could be grounded by the beginning of 2020?

The current rate of conversion/upgrade for the fleet across the business aviation industry is nowhere near enough to ensure that all aircraft will meet the deadline. In addition, Duncan Aviation is now stating that 9774 turbofan aircraft (up from their previous estimate of 6000 turbofan aircraft) still need to be upgradedand that over 4000 of these (up from 2000) will not make the mandate deadline. Or, to put it another way, nearly 41% will not make the deadline, up from their previous estimate of 33%.

Why shouldn't I wait for a cheaper ADS-B solution like I see in the avionics magazines?

At this point almost all Part 25 aircraft models have OEM or major third party SBs and STC available and the prices have stabilised. The very low cost ADS-B solutions are only for Light Sport and Experimental aircraft and are not certified for Part 25 aircraft.

I'll just sell the aircraft instead of having to pay for the ADS-B upgrade!

Trying to sell a turbine powered aircraft without ADS-B is becoming increasingly difficult and almost all brokers advise their buyers to insist that ADS-B is deducted from the price of the aircraft so it can be done just after the transaction. That means the seller is actually paying for ADS-B.In essence, you should get ADS-B done, so you have the option to continue using the aircraft or can easily sell it with ADS-B already done.

Honeywell Primus II ADS-B Specific Questions and Answers:

The Primus II ADS-B is too expensive for my flight department’s budget!

Honeywell re-aligned the Primus II ADS-B price structure in mid-2017, reducing prices by as much as $100K per aircraft.Get a new quote and get your aircraft scheduled for the upgrade now.

What about other solutions for Primus II equipped aircraft?

Some other solutions will save some money, but leave the aircraft with the old CRT based Radio Management Units (RMU), which will fail in the near future due to age and are no longer repairable.Replacement cost for just one new RMUs will be $70K each, which is more than the alternative solution savings let alone both when both RMU require replacement for $140K. With Primus II ADS-B, two new or upgraded RMUs are part of the ADS-B upgrade.

Why shouldn't I just wait until 2019 to get the upgrade done?

Two reasons: Honeywell has indicated double digit price increases for mid-2018 and again for mid-2019, plus by sometime in late 2018, the next available slot will be well into 2020.

Two to three weeks of down-time is too long for my aircraft to be down for the ADS-B upgrade!

Satair offers SPEX exchange and rental units, which can reduce the down time to as little as one week.There is an up-charge for SPEX exchange units, but if down-time is the driving factor, there is a solution.

Eric’s aviation job history;

Sales and Product Manager, Primus II ADS-B – Satair Group

Jan 2017 – Present

Regional Sales Manager - ICG (International Communications Group, Inc.)

2015 – 2016

Sr. Manager, New Business Development - Gulfstream Aerospace

2011 – 2013

Customer Project Manager - Beechcraft

2006 – 2011

Director, Avionics Sales and Products - Bombardier Aerospace

1996 – 2001

AC130H Gunship / MC130E Combat Talon Avionics Technician - United States Air Force

1983 – 1992

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