FAA ADS-B Rebate: Limited Time, Limited Number

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The FAA announced Monday that it will offer $500 rebates to owners who install ADS-B Out systems, but the program will be limited to one year and 20,000 owners on a first-come, first serve basis. Furthermore, because the FAA believes single-engine piston owners may be the most reluctant to equip with ADS-B, rebates will apply only to single-engine piston aircraft. New aircraft and owners who have already equipped will not be eligible, according to FAA Associate Administrator Michael Whitaker.

In a press conference Monday, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said even though the rebate program is small, the agency hopes it will prime the pump for more equipage. “We don’t want to get to January 2020 and have such a low rate of compliance that we can’t realize the full benefits of NextGen,” Fox said.  “This is a way of kick-starting more activity in getting people putting more equipage in their planes. It won’t get everybody, but it will start to get a wave and start to move the dial on numbers," Foxx added.

The exact number of airplanes yet to be equipped remains nebulous. Whitaker said about 20,000 aircraft—18,000 of them GA airplanes—have been equipped and the total equipage requirement might be about 160,000. Whitaker said the total could be as little as 120,000, in which case more than 100,000 may still need to be fitted with ADS-B.

“Our message to aircraft owners is relatively simple. It’s time to equip. The 2020 deadline will not change. Apply as soon as the rebate system is launched to reserve your spot and get a rebate,” Whitaker said. The program will begin this fall and you can find out more information on the FAA’s website at this link.

Foxx noted that because of competition in the ADS-B market, prices for the hardware are as little as $2000, although he didn’t mention that installation costs will double that number for aircraft owners.

AOPA, GAMA and AEA released a joint statement after the press conference applauding the FAA’s decision to issue rebates. “We are pleased that the FAA is offering a rebate program to provide some relief for aircraft owners who install ADS-B Out equipment, and we hope the general aviation community will take full advantage of this opportunity," said AOPA President Mark Baker. AEA's Paula Derks and GAMA’s Pete Bunce expressed similar sentiments. 

Comments (7)

The FAA has been pushing ADS-B in the private sector (although apparently much of the public sector will fail to meet the 2020 deadline).

The FAA has repeatedly assured us that prices aren't coming down, so get ADS-B installed right away.

I did.

Now, the FAA is offering a $500 incentive to get straglers to get ADS-B installed. But, that rebate is reportedly not available to those who followed the FAA's advice to get it done promptly. That's not fair! That's MY tax money too -- I want it back!

The FAA must do one of the following:
1 - Drop the rebate idea altogether and use the money to get the government fleet ADS-B compliant before the 2020 deadline.
2 - Issue the $500 rebate to everyone who beats the deadline.
3 - Issue the $500 rebate to everyone who beats the deadline hence forward and issue a $1000 reward to all who have already complied with the mandate.

Otherwise, the FAA is essentially telling those of us who installed ADS-B early that we are fools.

Posted by: Blaine Nay | June 7, 2016 11:43 PM    Report this comment

Obviously there are more single engine airplanes than twins however, to limit the compliance aircraft to single engine is unfair. The FAA should open this offer up to all general aviation aircraft that are privately owned. This would eliminate Part 135 aircraft. ADS-B is coming and if aircraft owners do not start to get this technology soon, it will cost them more in the long run.

FreeFlight Systems in Texas is currently offering an option to owners to lock in the price of their ADS-B Out system for up to a year. Currently the price is $1,995.00. In July 2016 that price will jump an additional $1,000.00. This is just the beginning and owners need to get on the wagon before it is too late.

Posted by: Paul Bern | June 8, 2016 1:24 PM    Report this comment

I would suggest that all owners who have already spent the money indicate their displeasure with the FAA, AOPA, AVWEB, GAMA and the AEA. It is clearly unreasonable reward those who have not previously complied with the recommendation to equip early while excluding those who have.

Posted by: Ronald Coleman | June 8, 2016 1:47 PM    Report this comment

Once again the increasingly socialist government penalizes those who plan ahead and rewards those who don't. (same as the tax credits and other handouts for people who don't plan for retirement and extra taxes for those that do).

Posted by: Russ Macdonald | June 8, 2016 2:27 PM    Report this comment

I ordered my certified system today, at least all the components. However, I also feel it is unfair to those who complied early or have light twins. I am based out of a Class B airport and own a humble Cherokee and we have been strongly encouraged to install approved ADS-B for a while, in the interests of safety, since the airspace can get rather busy and have had several near misses in the Class B airspace The controllers. Still this is a large expense. I understand the system has to be installed in September? Something is not making a whole lot of sense. My bet is I may never see the rebate. Our nations economy is a mess. I would have preferred to see the certified manufacturers provide a period for a rebate. Eventually the demand and prices will go up unless we see a rebellion by GA against this mandate. We for the most part are compliant citizens so we need to make a decision to go for it-in the interest of safety. Things can change, so as I speak to some friends they will continue to hold off on the installation of ADS-B for various reasons including the hopes that someone will come out with an inexpensive approved system, driving prices down even lower. Sounds good, but I generally don't gamble. It will be interesting how THIS government program works out.. If you know what I mean.

Posted by: Wayne 'Dutch' Leydsman | June 8, 2016 3:46 PM    Report this comment

Count me as one of the very unhappy early adopters who will miss out on this rebate. EAA and AOPA need to stop eps up on our behalf.

Posted by: David Cooper | June 8, 2016 7:26 PM    Report this comment

I think it is pretty funny reading all these guys complaining that they complied early and they should get money too. The whole point of the program is to get more people to comply, Huerta doesnt care about the airplanes that are already compliant.

Posted by: Benjamin Siff | June 28, 2016 8:41 AM    Report this comment

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