Although some benefits are still being finalized, Huerta said he expects the program to launch this fall, at which point only those who have not yet installed ADS-B equipment can take advantage. The Aircraft Electronics Association will administer the rebates, which can be redeemed after a successful compliance check following the installation. So long as the equipment meets the mandate, the owner will be eligible, regardless of the ADS-B manufacturer.
In explaining why the agency decided not to make the rebate retroactive, the administrator thanked pilots who have already equipped, and said the focus is on incentivizing all pilots to meet the mandate. “Not equipping will leave aircraft grounded on January 1, 2020,” he said.
Huerta said that to fully meet the mandate, the fleet needs to be equipping at a rate of roughly 23,000 to 25,000 aircraft a year. Aircraft Electronics Association President Paula Derks said we’re seeing less than half that right now, and that shop availability is there to handle a full rate.
AOPA President Mark Baker said that cost has been a significant factor for many owners who would like to equip, and that this rebate could go a long way to helping ease that burden. “We hope the general aviation community will take full advantage of this opportunity,” he said. GAMA President Pete Bunce said that although ADS-B In provides great benefits, it's important to meet the mandate and install Out capability so your aircraft can be seen by everyone.