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Avionics manufacturers launch ADS-B rebatesAvionics Manufacturers launch ADS-B rebates

Programs bridge gap until FAA rebate beginsPrograms bridge gap until FAA rebate begins

Editor's note: This story was updated July 22 to reflect BendixKing’s temporary price reduction and package rebates on its ADS-B-compliant KT 74 transponder.
FreeFlight Systems, Avidyne, and BendixKing are offering $500 rebates for qualifying Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) hardware, bridging the gap until the FAA’s rebate becomes effective in September.

Earlier this month, the FAA announced $500 rebates to the first 20,000 owners of single-engine piston aircraft who equip with ADS-B Out—when the program formally launches sometime this fall. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the rebate June 6 at the Wichita Aero Club in Kansas.

ADS-B uses satellites instead of ground-based radar to determine aircraft location, and is a key technology behind the FAA’s Next Generation Air Traffic Control System. The FAA has mandated ADS-B Out beginning Jan. 1, 2020, for flight in airspace where a transponder is required today. For general aviation aircraft owners, the greatest benefits accrue from enhanced situational awareness afforded by optional ADS-B In services—specifically traffic information and subscription-free weather.

Should an aircraft owner wait for the FAA rebate to equip with this technology? Not necessarily. Two avionics manufacturers—FreeFlight Systems and Avidyne—are offering comparable rebates to bridge the gap until the FAA’s program begins.

In July, BendixKing joined the ADS-B rebate party, offering Oshkosh/Summer 2016 rebates on several product packages, most combining the ADS-B-compliant KT 74 transponder with a KSN WAAS navigator. Purchase a KSN 770 and a KT 74 to earn a $2,000 rebate; choose the KSN 765 instead and the rebate is $3,000. (Smaller rebates are being offered for purchase of a KSN navigator without the KT 74.) More information is available on the BendixKing website. The rebate form is available online, as well.

The company also is offering trade-in credits for qualifying older equipment. The promotional program runs through Sept. 30, 2016.

Until Sept. 30, BendixKing is discounting the KT 74’s list price by $500, to $2,995. The company said the KT 74 is a slide-in replacement for its popular KT 76 A/C and KT 78A transponders. Along with a compliant WAAS GPS position source, it provides a convenient upgrade path for the ADS-B Out mandate in 2020.

FreeFlight Systems and Avidyne announced their rebates in June.

FreeFlight Systems is offering a $500 rebate on its fully featured ADS-B and WAAS/GPS solutions. Its Bridge Rebate Program offers customers cost savings on qualifying products today, allowing them to take full advantage of ADS-B benefits immediately—without waiting for the FAA’s rebate program.

An enterprising aircraft owner potentially could combine these manufacturer rebates with the pending FAA rebate. The hardware would have to be purchased before the avionics manufacturer’s deadline—and, in the case of FreeFlight, the hardware must be installed by Dec. 31. Once the FAA rebate becomes active, the owner would have to reserve his or her rebate online—receiving a rebate reservation code via email—before flying with the new ADS-B Out equipment.

“We are excited that the FAA is launching an ADS-B rebate program that has reenergized the conversation around ADS-B equipage in general, and the specifics of the different datalinks—including the 978UAT link’s support of anonymous mode for privacy,” said Tim Taylor, FreeFlight president and CEO. “We are pleased to expand the concept so that it is available immediately, includes all platform types, and is applicable to all U.S.-registered aircraft, irrespective of fleet size.”

FreeFlight’s Bridge Rebate Program applies to the company’s Rangr Blue product line—the FDL-978-XVR and FDL-978-XVR/G 978 MHz-based ADS-B systems—and its 1203C WAAS/GPS sensor. It does not apply to the company’s lowest-priced Rangr Lite systems. Purchasers will receive a $500 rebate after the system has been installed and a rebate form submitted. The company also is offering a $100 “thank you” rebate for customers who took delivery of eligible systems after Jan. 1, 2016.

Customers interested in receiving bridge rebates must take delivery of their FreeFlight product by Sept. 30, 2016, or when the FAA’s ADS-B Rebate Program goes live later this fall—whichever comes first, the company said. Systems must be installed before the end of the year.

“We love the idea of the FAA rebate program but we also recognize that it’s going to take a while to get it up and running, and that it has a few shortfalls,” said Pete Ring, FreeFlight’s director of sales and marketing. “We pay the rebate on proof of purchase, and a picture of the install—which we will have the right to post.” One rebate is allowed per tail number, and any aircraft type qualifies, he said. “We are not limiting this to single-engine, fixed-wing customers. All U.S.-registered aircraft are eligible.”

Because the FreeFlight program is not limited to one rebate per owner, it opens the door to multi-aircraft operators, such as flight schools and fleets, Ring added.

More information on FreeFlight’s Bridge Rebate Program is available online.

The FAA cannot begin authorizing its ADS-B Out rebates until sometime in September because of a federally mandated waiting period, according to Avidyne. “Once this program eventually goes active, it will require aircraft owners to apply for a rebate reservation, and wait for an incentive code—then, once installed, fly specified compliance flights before receiving full approval,” Avidyne explained in an email to its dealers.

The company also announced an immediate $500 rebate. “We want to simplify the process. With our new ‘Don’t Wait Rebate,’ there is no waiting period, and no need to jump through a bunch of hoops,” Avidyne said.

Its rebate offer is good for ADS-B rule-compliant equipment ordered for U.S.-registered single-engine piston aircraft between June 17 and Sept. 30, 2016. As an added incentive, Avidyne said, purchasers of an IFD540 (or IFD440 with integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) plus an AXP340 ADS-B Out transponder will receive a free SkyTrax100 ADS-B In receiver, valued at $2,499.

Full details of the Avidyne ADS-B rebate also are available online.

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Topics: ADSB, Financial

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