US ADS-B-ready fleet marks NextGen milestone

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment is now on board 10,000 aircraft flying in the United States.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made the announcement at today’s Equip 2020 working group meeting that this milestone was reached in late February.

The Equip 2020 working group was established by FAA deputy administrator Michael Whitaker in October 2014 to encourage the adoption of ADS-B equipage and address challenges to equipage.

ADS-B is the linchpin of NextGen in the United States, and is being used worldwide in support of air traffic modernisation programmes. The FAA has estimated that 100,000 to 160,000 general aviation aircraft will need to be equipped with ADS-B Out before the FAA’s January 1, 2020 mandate.

The FAA put the mandate in place in 2010 after working for years with industry and operator groups on the equipage requirement.

“This significant milestone shows that thousands of US aircraft are already experiencing the many benefits that ADS-B equipage offers, including enhanced surveillance, especially at lower altitudes, better situational awareness, and free in-cockpit weather and traffic,” GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce said, welcoming the news. “With over a dozen products on the market and more on the way, the cost of equipment has dropped and operators have a choice of cost-effective solutions that meet the FAA’s mandate.

“ADS-B will be particularly important for general aviation operators as the FAA fully integrates Unmanned Aerial Systems into the National Airspace System, introducing thousands of UAS into a crowded airspace,” Bunce added. “By choosing to equip now, operators are investing in their safety; they are also ensuring they meet the 2020 deadline before installation lines grow long. We are very pleased with the positive growth in equipage, and manufacturers will continue to work with the FAA and operators to facilitate equipage as the 2020 deadline approaches.”

 

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