Committee: No Case For ADS-B Mandate

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A committee chartered by the FAA has determined that the FAA has yet to make a business case for mandated near-term ADS-B equipage and recommends the FAA not pursue such a mandate at this time. The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) was formed in June 2010. Its mission is, in part, to "provide recommendations that clearly define how the community should proceed with ADS-B In while ensuring compatibility with ADS-B Out." The ARC has concluded that "many of the ADS–B In applications show significant promise, but additional development and analysis are necessary before aircraft operators can justify investment or implementation decisions." As per its charter, the committee did offer ideas to change that.

The ARC recommends the FAA demonstrate achievable benefits to the user community of ADS-B In that may be implemented "in a cost-effective manner." One challenge faced by the FAA right now is that ADS-B In applications have not yet matured to the point where achievable benefits can be defined with certainty, according to the committee. Also, certification and operational approval guidance are not "sufficiently mature to enable widespread manufacture of avionics" in roles that might support an equipage mandate. The committee recommends that the FAA address these challenges through basic field trials that "validate key assumptions and benefits" and use that experience to relate the benefits of equipage to the user community. Those efforts will require the FAA to direct funding toward maturing standards guidance and regulation of ADS-B equipment. Click here to read the ARC's full report (PDF).