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State aviation officials learn drawbacks to FAA's ADS-B planState aviation officials learn drawbacks to FAA's ADS-B plan

State aviation officials learn drawbacks to FAA’s ADS-B plan

By AOPA ePublishing staff

During the National Association of State Aviation Officials 2008 Washington Legislative Conference on March 16 through 18, AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula spoke about AOPA’s opposition to the FAA’s plan to implement ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) nationwide.

“We fully support ADS-B as a technology for the future, but we don’t like how the FAA is wanting to implement it,” Cebula explained to the officials gathered in Washington, D.C. “Aircraft owners will have to spend as much as $8,000 by 2020 for a new piece of equipment to simply continue flying into the same airspace where a Mode C transponder is required.”

The current FAA proposal requires that all aircraft operating in Class A, B, and C airspace, plus all airspace above 10,000 feet msl, have to be equipped with ADS-B datalink equipment that transmits the aircraft’s position, altitude, speed, and aircraft ID.

ADS-B also has the potential to provide pilots with weather, airspace, and other types of data for depiction on in-cockpit displays, but the FAA has said it will permit the ADS-B contractor to charge for certain weather information.

AOPA opposes any mandate to equip aircraft with ADS-B under this proposal because the cost of installing the equipment would outweigh the benefit.

“We have long maintained that the true benefit of ADS-B is making it affordable for pilots to get weather, airspace, and other types of information in their aircraft, and that’s not possible in the FAA’s proposal,” Cebula said.

And AOPA members agree.

“I wanted ADS-B for the promised benefits of weather and traffic and other data to feed into the [Garmin] GMX 200 MFD,” one member recently wrote to AOPA. The member had planned to pay $8,000 to install an ADS-B receiver in his aircraft. “With the new proposed rule, I have decided to save the $8,000.”

He further explained, “Without the added benefit of weather and other services at no cost, the ADS-B receiver is simply not worth the huge investment.”

Because many aviation industry leaders are opposed to the FAA’s proposal, the agency is calling on an aviation rulemaking committee to take a look at ways to address the opposition it has garnered. AOPA is a part of that committee, and we’re going to work toward a plan that doesn’t limit the benefits of ADS-B. AOPA has told the FAA that it needs to reissue the proposal once the issues are resolved.

For more information on ADS-B, read AOPA’s comments submitted to the FAA.

March 20, 2008

Topics: ADSB

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