If aircraft are sitting on the ground after the deadline, they aren’t useful to anyone.
For the April 2018 issue of AvBuyer magazine, Matt Nelson Manager of Satellite Operations at Duncan Aviation wrote the Guest Editor’s ViewPoint. There are about 20 months remaining until the FAA’s December 31, 2019, deadline to upgrade aircraft to ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast), and Matt wants to reiterate Duncan Aviation’s message regarding ADS-B.
Qualified Shop With Experienced Avionics Technicians
It’s important to get the upgrade done at a qualified facility. Counting installations performed before 2017, Duncan Aviation has completed more than 520 ADS-B installations to date, and has capacity for another 1500 by the mandate deadline. We consider our organization to be the foremost ADS-B compliance experts across all aircraft makes and models.
Qualified shops around the United States are making a dent in the numbers; it’s estimated that roughly 40% of the fleet has been upgrade. Matt pointed out that Duncan Aviation and other MROs are trying to let our customers know that aircraft in need of ADS-B upgrades are going to be vying for available space in the remaining 20 months. In fact, the monthly rate at which the remainder of the fleet needs modification is 390 aircraft, and the current rate is 190 aircraft per month. As we get closer to the deadline, there will be an increasing shortage of hangar space and qualified shops with experienced avionics technicians.
In 2017, Duncan Aviation’s nation-wide network of Satellite facilities allotted space and labor for 300 upgrades. Because our technicians gained proficiency with every installation, the shops increased their capacity to 460 installations in 2018 and are planning for nearly 600 in 2019.
At several of the Satellite Avionics Shops Duncan Aviation’s customers are taking advantage of the proximity of our skilled technicians and having their entire fleets upgraded.
We’ve been repeating this message for several years: Upgrade now, please don’t wait until the last minute; the deadline isn’t going to change, and parts and labor prices are not going to drop. We really want to reiterate that there are no magic bullets on the horizon for your ADS-B upgrade. The OEMs have spent millions of dollars developing solutions for their platforms, and they aren’t going to develop anything with a lower cost or that’s easier to install in the final months before the deadline. In fact, most vendors have already announced price increases for this year and next.
We also want to make sure that the industry understands our objectives in light of the mandates in general. Our objective is to ensure that our customers become compliant by the deadline in order to keep their aircraft flying. If aircraft are sitting on the ground, they aren’t useful to anyone.
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