Avionics News October 2016 - 30
PART 135 OPERATORS
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Vietnam have already implemented ADS-B requirements.
In most cases, there are no exemptions from these ADS-B
requirements. If you plan to operate - either Part 91 for your
aircraft owner or Part 135 for charter customers - you need to
be appropriately equipped.
"Having a plan for how and when to equip is especially
important for those operators that fly outside the U.S., not
only in Europe, where the mandate is similar to the U.S.,
but in Southeast Asia where key airspace and routes already
require ADS-B equipage," said Jens Hennig, vice president of
operations at the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
"When the new decade arrives, you must be equipped or you
won't be flying in Europe or the U.S."
Like Harpster, Hennig recommends considering other pending mandates to determine if additional updates are appropriate. For example, do you plan to fly in the North Atlantic track
region, which requires data communications? Will you operate
in areas that require specific performance-based navigation
capability, or will you benefit from optional equipage?
"There are some real opportunities for savings if you
bundle the upgrade and only take your aircraft out of service
once," Hennig said.
Highlight ADS-B safety benefits
The primary benefit of ADS-B Out is increased surveillance capabilities by air traffic control. Some aircraft operators scoff at this benefit. But in reality, the improvement in
ATC visibility - particularly at lower altitudes, in remote locations and in busy airspace - cannot be underestimated. This
increased capability can help prevent accidents and provide
timely search and rescue in the event of an accident.
Consider this: Western Colorado is a hotbed of ADS-B stations because of the region's challenging terrain. Many sensors are distributed throughout the Western Slope to increase
coverage in areas where mountainous terrain interferes with
reception or results in insufficient radar coverage. Airports
in the region, such as Telluride Regional, Durango-La Plata
County and Montrose Regional, also see a significant increase in traffic in the winter ski season. The often inclement
weather, combined with terrain and, in the case of Telluride
Regional, extremely challenging airport layout, result in an
environment that requires pilots to be on their toes. Increased
surveillance - courtesy of ADS-B - will not only allow ATC
better traffic separation and surveillance and greater ability to
maneuver around weather, but also ensure faster search and
rescue operations in the event of an accident.
Rotorcraft operators in the Gulf of Mexico airspace also
have been early adopters of ADS-B, according to Hennig, and
they report a significant improvement in surveillance capabilities in the airspace, similar to those experienced in western
Colorado, and the ability to avoid adverse weather conditions
and experience significant fuel savings. The majority of helicopters operating IFR in the Gulf today are ADS-B equipped.
Help your client plan ahead
When do Part 135 charter aircraft make money? When they
fly. Downtime for maintenance results in lost charter revenue,
so experts recommend coordinating your ADS-B upgrade
with another maintenance event to decrease downtime.
The natural economic laws of supply and demand will undoubtedly apply as we approach 2020. Current equipage rates
indicate 9,000 U.S.-registered business jets still need to equip
before the 2020 mandate. The FAA also estimates that an
additional 80,000 and 140,000 small aircraft will equip during
the next four years. Waiting until the end of 2019 to plan your
upgrade might backfire on you and your clients.
"We are already hearing feedback from the installer community that they are booking slots in 2018 and 2019," Hennig
said. "Those operators that wait until 2018 to book their
upgrade might face increased prices or not be able to schedule
in time for the 2020 mandate."
Considering the ADS-B 2020 mandate also is prudent when
providing guidance to a new client during the aircraft purchase
process. Compare buying a pre-owned aircraft to buying a
house. When you buy a house, you know one day in the future
you might need to replace the roof, but if you'll need to replace the roof in the next few months, you're likely to require
the seller to consider that expense in the final sale price.
All aircraft owners should know they will one day need
to repair, replace or upgrade certain equipment, but a
hard-and-fast mandate of ADS-B Out by 2020 should drive
buyers and sellers to consider the need to upgrade as part
of the final sale price.
For some clients, the cost of an ADS-B upgrade might be
a factor in timing an aircraft upgrade, depending on the age
and condition of their current aircraft. If the client is considering a brand new aircraft, compliance is virtually a given since
newly manufactured aircraft were required to be compliant
with ADS-B since 2015.
"Although charter management companies aren't necessarily expected to be fleet management experts, a six-figure
ADS-B upgrade proposal for an older legacy aircraft might
not make sense," Hague said. "Help your clients understand
their options - including the possibility of an aircraft upgrade
- and you will earn your client's loyalty."
Some aircraft owners think since they're only planning
to keep the airplane for a couple of years, there's no sense
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