With the ADS-B Out mandate a week away, there are still scores of aircraft not yet equipped—meaning they can’t legally fly in “rule” airspace after Jan. 1 without a waiver. Turns out, the waiver, part of the FAA’s ADS-B Deviation Authorization Preflight Tool (ADAPT) program, isn’t hard to get. But it is online only, so the FAA has created a step-by-step video to walk pilots through the process. (See video below.)
In short, to use ADAPT, you have to apply for the waiver no more than 24 hours before a flight and no later than one hour before departure; the flight has to leave within two hours of the estimated time.
Fill out the form with your departure, destination and route of flight, and the system will tell you whether you’re likely to get approval for the waiver. If that response is positive, you fill out a few more fields (including your email address) and then formally submit the request. The email response you get from the FAA constitutes official approval to fly into rule airspace without ADS-B. Not all routes and airports will receive an automated approval, including those beginning or ending at “capacity-constrained airports.”
How many times can you use ADAPT? According to AOPA’s guidance on the matter, it’s not likely to be unlimited. The FAA created ADAPT as an interim measure to allow non-conforming aircraft a way to get to a location where they can be equipped and for those aircraft with installed but inoperative ADS-B Out systems to get repair service.