FAA Taking Its Time On ADS-B Equipage


If the increasingly strident messages from the FAA about ADS-B equipage have you feeling the slightest pangs of guilt that you haven’t written the check yet, take heart. The agency doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to get its own aircraft in compliance and it’s shopping around. As every aircraft owner should know, the FAA has set Jan. 1, 2020, as the firm deadline for aircraft using most controlled airspace to be equipped with ADS-B Out. But the agency has been urging owners to get the gear sooner rather than later to avoid a logjam of last-minute installations. For nine of its King Air C90TI aircraft, the FAA is taking a leisurely approach to equipage with a plan to bring that part of the fleet into compliance a year before it’s mandatory.

A couple of months ago, the agency sent a “market survey” to avionics shops to see what’s out there in terms of ADS-B gear for the King Airs, which have Rockwell Collins ProLine panels. The agency made it clear that it was just fishing for information with the survey to determine how it would go about tendering the project. Once it figures that out, the winning bidder will have a month to get going and the installations have to be finished by Dec. 31, 2018. It’s also worth noting that while the FAA is actively encouraging other owners to get ADS-B In for their aircraft, the King Air installation is a bare-bones affair that will bring the aircraft into compliance without the weather, traffic and in-flight data transfer capability that come with ADS-B In. The airplanes are used for currency and proficiency checks on FAA inspectors.