The FAA on Oct. 12 reopened the $500 rebate program to support Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipage. The program that had ended in September 2017 will now close Oct. 11, 2019. The agency is making $4.9 million available under the new rebate program, which will help to fund 9,792 new ADS-B Out installations.
Beginning Jan. 2, 2020, aircraft flying in airspace where a transponder is necessary today will be required to be equipped with compliant ADS-B Out technology.
AOPA President Mark Baker said, “Pilots across America thank Acting Administrator Elwell for reopening the ADS-B out rebate that will make our skies safer and more efficient by incentivizing even more pilots to adopt the cutting-edge technology. This is the last opportunity for GA aircraft owners to take advantage of the FAA rebate in meeting the 2020 deadline.”
The previous rebate program, which ran from Sept. 19, 2016, to Sept. 18, 2017, issued more than 10,000 rebate payments.
Baker continued, “Over the past four years, AOPA has worked with the FAA and manufacturers through the Equip 2020 Working Group to develop lower cost solutions, especially for those flying legacy aircraft which often are not already equipped with a Wide Area Augmentation System GPS sensor, a necessary component for ADS-B Out. As a result of this collaboration, the cost of the equipment has dropped from more than $5,000 a few years ago to less than $2,000 today.”
A number of avionics manufacturers have recently released lower cost products that meet compliance regulations The Appareo Stratus ESG and Garmin GTX 335 transponders are both $2,995 plus installation, and the Garmin GDL 82 universal access transceiver—which works in conjunction with an existing transponder—is $1,795 plus installation. uAvionix has promised lower cost products that replace aircraft navigation lights, including the skyBeacon, a UAT priced at $1,849 plus installation, which is eligible for installation on certified aircraft as well as experimental and light sport aircraft.
As before, there are five steps aircraft owners should follow to meet the mandate and receive the $500 rebate. First, purchase the equipment and schedule installation. Second, get a Rebate Reservation Code by reserving a position online. Third, install the equipment. Fourth, conduct the required equipment performance validation flight and get an Incentive Code. Fifth, claim the $500 rebate online using the Rebate Reservation Code and Incentive Code.
A number of aircraft owners have seen issues with the performance validation flight requirement of the original rebate program, and AOPA recommends a number of steps to minimize the odds of failing the validation flight.
As with the earlier rebate program, the FAA reports that the new rebate program is available only to those who have not yet equipped their aircraft. Full rebate rules are available on the FAA website.
To help determine which ADS-B products might be best for your aircraft, see the AOPA ADS-B Selection Tool online.