US offers GA $500 ADS-B equipage incentive

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has unveiled a rebate programme to help small aircraft owners to equip their aircraft with a NextGen surveillance technology known as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

“To further demonstrate our commitment to NextGen, we will soon offer some general aviation aircraft owners a $500 rebate to help defray some of the cost for purchasing ADS-B Out avionics,” said US transportation secretary Foxx.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, is foundational to the FAA’s NextGen programme, a suite of technologies that is modernising the nation’s air traffic control system.

The FAA published a final rule in May 2010 mandating that aircraft flying in certain controlled airspace be equipped with ADS-B Out by January 1, 2020. That airspace is generally the same busy airspace where transponders are currently required. Aircraft that fly only in uncontrolled airspace where no transponders are required, and aircraft without electrical systems, such as balloons and gliders, are exempt from the mandate.

“We’re calling on all aircraft owners who plan to fly in busy airspace to equip with ADS-B Out before the deadline,” said FAA administrator Huerta. “We hope this initiative will encourage aircraft owners to get off the sidelines and take advantage of all the safety benefits NextGen has to offer.”

The rebates will be available in late September, and the FAA will announce the effective date soon. In the meantime, the FAA is encouraging aircraft owners to look ahead to schedule an installation appointment with a qualified installer. Aircraft owners will only qualify for the rebate if the installation occurs after the FAA begins offering the rebates in late September 2016.

Aircraft owners of U.S.-registered, fixed-wing single-engine piston aircraft with avionics that comply with FAA technical standard orders and meet the rule requirements could be eligible for the rebate. The FAA is not offering rebates for software upgrades for aircraft already equipped, new aircraft, or aircraft for which the FAA already has paid or committed to upgrade.

The FAA will be able to distribute 20,000 rebates, one rebate per aircraft owner. The rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis for one year, or until all 20,000 rebates are claimed, whichever comes first. The FAA estimates that as many as 160,000 aircraft need to be equipped by the deadline.

More information about equipping and the rebate programme is available on the FAA website.

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