Emphasizing the need for affordable equipment along with services that deliver good value for general aviation operators, AOPA on Oct. 31 submitted comments formally expressing its support for key recommendations from the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) report on ADS-B.
The ARC report echoed several points that AOPA has repeatedly made to the FAA: the cost of ADS-B equipment currently outweighs the proposed benefits to GA pilots; the FAA needs to provide more services to general aviation pilots and airports or remove GA from the mandate to equip for ADS-B; and the FAA should identify ways to reduce the cost of required avionics.
“As it now stands, the FAA’s ADS-B proposal would be very expensive for GA operators and give them nothing substantive in return—a real waste of ADS-B’s potential,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “That is why the FAA needs to follow the recommendations from the rulemaking committee.”
If the FAA will commit to providing better services to general aviation and lowering the cost of equipment, many GA operators will choose to participate in ADS-B. When the benefits of new technology are compelling, as they could be with ADS-B, and the equipment is affordable, general aviation pilots and aircraft owners readily adopt it, just as they have done with GPS navigation.
ADS-B, which stands for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, has the potential to allow pilots to receive weather and traffic information in the cockpit, even in areas without radar coverage.