Do any of you remember when the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) mandate went into effect on January 20, 2005? There were 6,500 business aircraft that required upgrades for that mandate, and most installation facilities were at capacity for two full years prior to that deadline.
After the RVSM mandate went into effect, many operators were forced to fly below 29,000 feet until they upgraded their equipment. And some were inconvenienced for quite some time because installation facilities were filled to capacity for an entire year after the deadline.
As most business aircraft owner/operators know, the Federal Aviation Administration set a January 1, 2020 deadline to comply with the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) mandate. That deadline is approximately 1,130 working days away, and the FAA estimates there are 18,500 business aircraft (Amstat, Jets and Turboprops) that still need to upgrade their equipment.
If any of those business Part 25 aircraft intend to fly above 10,000 feet and in and out of airports with control towers after Jan. 1, 2020, they are going to have to be equipped with a WAAS/SBAS GPS, a 1090MHz Mode S Extended Squitter (1090ES) transponder and cockpit failure annuciators.
Facilities with avionics capabilities like Duncan Aviation have capacity today to handle the increased volume. In the coming months, though, as more and more aircraft need to schedule equipment upgrades, they’ll have to compete for hangar space with aircraft that are scheduled for inspections and maintenance events. Additionally, many avionics manufacturers are offering incentives today, but as the deadline approaches and demand increases, prices will definitely go up.
There are roughly three times as many business aircraft that require ADS-B Out equipment than required RVSM equipment, and without the ADS-B upgrades, those aircraft won’t be merely inconvenienced; they’ll be grounded until they comply.
When it comes to business aviation, I always tell my customers, “Best equipped, best served.”
For access the latest and most complete information about the upcoming mandates, go to Duncan Aviation's online Nextgen resource.
Contributed by Mark Francetic, regional avionics sales manager