Avionics News March 2017 - 4
ADS-B: The Next
Generation of GA
an. 1, 2020. ADS-B. Compliance. Mandate. Equipage. $15,000 Cessna 150. Not only will the purchase price of
These are all words we've been hearing for quite
the airframes likely plummet, the less-appealing ones will
some time, and words we will continue to hear well past
be salvaged for parts, decreasing the cost of ownership, as
the first day of 2020.
well. The cost of entry for a new group of general aviation
What do these words mean? And to whom? As a Part
pilots may drop dramatically. The barrier to entry for some
145 repair station owner, to me, it means a full hangar,
could be less than the cost of a weekend car.
long lead times, customer questions and growth. It also
Since these aircraft need to be ADS-B equipped out of
means the growth and revitalization of general aviation.
the gate, the new GA owners will have initial exposure
We've all heard it by now. A customer
to upgrading aircraft. The understanding of the
pulls up in a 1956 Cessna 172 with a vacuum
necessity to upgrade an aircraft and its avionics
tube radio, rotary dial transponder, yokeby this generation's aviators is crucial not only
mounted handheld GPS and asks about ADSto the airframes themselves, but the industry,
B. About five sentences into the conversation
as well. We do not want to breed this new
we hear, "What? That's one-third the value of
generation of GA similar to those that are exiting.
my airplane! I'm not going to do it; I'm just
We want to keep these new pilots flying and
going to park my airplane."
adding the newer technologies.
It's the same story you'll get with a 150,
This should be a relatively easy task, as this
or early model Piper Cherokee, or Bonanza,
younger generation is more technology oriented
or one of a dozen other types of airframes with an aircraft
than those who might park their planes. Growing up with
owner who hasn't upgraded avionics in 20 years.
cellphones, laptops and portable electronic devices has
Yes, these are the airframes that are hit particularly hard
produced a digital dependency for the younger generations
with the compliance requirements of ADS-B. Even an
that will continue to drive the avionics modernization of
entry-level system, by the time antennas are mounted and
these entry-level aircraft. Touch navigators, EFIS displays
coax is run, can be more than $5,000. The core reason that
and Bluetooth flight plan transfer will not be a luxury to
compliance cost is high for these airframes is the owner's
this group of pilots; it will be standard. With the mandate
lack of investment. In broad strokes, this demographic of
of ADS-B, we will have the digital pilot in the analog
the aviation community contains the owners who don't fly
plane, ready for new avionics. q
their airplanes much, and do the bare minimum to keep
their aircraft airworthy.
On New Year's Day 2020 or sooner, when these owners
start putting their airplanes up for sale, what happens? A
new generation of general aviation will be born. Today's
President, Avionics Installations Inc.
$30,000 Piper Cherokee may cost half that, same with a
Port Orange, Florida