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FAA bets on more ADS-B installs with $500 rebateFAA bets on more ADS-B installs

The FAA is betting that $500 will spur more aircraft owners to equip with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out technology in the next year. Following months of encouragement from AOPA and others in the industry, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta placed such a bet on June 6 during a meeting at the Wichita Aero Club in Kansas.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announces a $500 rebate program for the first 20,000 aircraft owners who equip with ADS-B Out this fall. Photo by Mike Fizer.

“Equipage rates are not where we’d like to see them,” the administrator said during the meeting. In an effort to increase the number of owners who equip prior to the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline, the agency is offering $500 for the first 20,000 owners of single-engine piston aircraft when the program launches sometime this fall. “Get off the sidelines and take advantage of all the benefits ADS-B has to offer,” he said.

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.

AOPA President Mark Baker and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta at the Wichita Aero Club June 6. Photo by Mike Fizer.
Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly

"Flight Training" Editor
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
Topics: Advocacy, ADSB

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