Are you excited about the mandated change for all aircraft coming on January 1, 2020? This is the deadline the FAA set for all aircraft to have a Mode C transponder installed with ADS-B Out. If you are not excited, it is either due to the confusion this upgrade can have for certain aircraft which are already equipped with GPS receivers, or it is due to your worry about the cost of the upgrade. Here is some information that will prepare for a more comfortable transition.
What Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Will Do
There are benefits ADS-B has that will excite you. With this technology, you will have better routing options when you fly over non-radar areas including remote places like mountain ranges or bodies of water.
You get better air traffic control services which are outside of radar areas. You can fly more safely because your aircraft’s location is reported up-to-the-second so you and your passengers can be easily tracked in the event this is necessary.
Get better weather information, and get it faster. The displays on the ADS-B systems are clearer so you can know when to take a different route sooner rather than later. Air traffic, in general, will become less congested because you, your fellow pilots and air traffic controllers can easily see where each other are situated.
What Do You Need to Make the Switch?
You only need the basic equipment to get an AutSurveillance-Broadcastillance Broadcast which includes the GPS receiver, the ADS-B Out system, and antennas for both the ADS-B Out and the GPS.
The actual components that your aircraft requires may differ. It depends on what is already installed, and it depends on what is required for your type of aircraft. Check with your aviation mechanic before you begin shopping around for the items you need.
The FAA is continuing to issue bulletins which detail changes for the specific requirements on all aircraft. Your mechanic will have access to these bulletins and will be able to determine what your plane is in need of.
Meet the Deadline Now
Why wait? You do have time, but a lot of pilots and private aircraft owners think that by the time the deadline approaches so many people will need the equipment that the cost of upgrading will go down. The demand for installations will be so tight before January 1, 2020, that the prices for installations will go up. To save money, start working on your upgrade now.
It is true that the equipment prices may drop as the deadline approaches. Manufacturers will want to incentivize your purchase and entice you to buy their product by offering great deals. But, aviation mechanics will be working overtime to accommodate the mass installation appointments they get. Their installation charges will go up exponentially in order to meet the demand.
Also, check to make sure your aircraft is not exempt. If it is, you do have time to wait as the exempt aircraft deadline for the upgrade occurs in 2025. There will be no extension for the non-exempt upgrade deadline.