The deadline is still a little more than 11 years away, but Garmin has received FAA certification for making its GTX 330 and GTX 33 transponders ADS-B compatible.
ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) is the satellite-based technology backbone of the coming post-radar air traffic control system. The Garmin transponders will be equipped with 1090 MHz extended squitter (ES) capability that allows them to send aircraft speed, altitude, heading, and identity messages to ADS-B-equipped aircraft and ground stations. The company based in Olathe, Kan., is the first to receive FAA certification for ADS-B transponders designed for the general aviation market.
“We are proud to be the first to bring this important, backbone technology to general and business aviation, and are determined to continue innovating products that will offer customers an affordable way to comply with the FAA’s NextGen system requirements,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president for marketing.
Current GTX 330 and GTX 33 owners will be able to retrofit existing Mode-S transponders and add ES capability. The transponders meet the FAA’s proposed requirements for ADS-B “out” signals. Another Garmin product, the GDL 90, is a Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) that also collects ADS-B “in” signals that show weather and traffic.
AOPA has asked the FAA to modify its ADS-B proposal so that GA pilots can get the safety benefits of cockpit weather and traffic at a realistic price. The FAA proposal would permit GA aircraft flying below 24,000 feet to choose either ES or UAT equipment. The FAA has proposed requiring aircraft flying in U.S. airspace to carry ADS-B equipment by 2020.
“This is another sign that ADS-B will be part of the future air traffic control system,” said Randy Kenagy, AOPA chief of staff for government affairs. “It makes all the sense in the world for manufacturers to take steps in anticipation of ADS-B. We remain committed to making sure that ADS-B is affordable and beneficial to our members.”