Avionics News July 2017 - 4
ATC privatization or not,
ADS-B will survive and thrive
But will aircraft owners ante up and kick in?
s I write this, President Donald J. Trump
would be a good time to equip - before the flood
has revived the privatization debate and
of owners who procrastinate arrive at the avionics
appears to have sailed through "Comeygate"
relatively unscathed. This means his legislative
I personally have advocated that every aircraft
agenda will move forward, but the air traffic
owner should identify a shop and make a
control privatization issue will
reservation - no matter how far out the
undoubtedly run into a bipartisan
shop will accommodate. It might be a
buzzsaw this fall.
good idea to send that shop a fruit basket
Whether ATC is eventually run
each month to be safe.
by an aerospace giant like Lockheed
But even a $500 rebate that expires
or stays with the Federal Aviation
this fall apparently is not enough
Administration, ADS-B is here to stay
incentive to make owners line up and
and the 2020 deadline will remain.
wait for an ADS-B install. Owners who
Because of both issues, a significant
think that prices will come down for
part of our GA piston fleet may end
hardware are mistaken, and labor costs
up parked, sold at discount or parted
as we approach the deadline will likely
out because compliance costs and user fees
rise to meet demand. As a result, many airframes
combined could make private flying untenable for
and their owners may retire from flying.
many - and older airframes unworthy of major
Unlike an engine AD or another fuel cost
cataclysm, the ADS-B mandate often requires
Evidence of this tipping point is circumstantial.
tearing up an old avionics panel with potential
With 30 months to go before the ADS-B Out
discoveries of buried bodies and brittle wires that
mandate, less than 20 percent of the GA fleet of
must be hunted down and moved or replaced.
some 150,000 airframes are currently compliant.
Like remodeling a house, reasonable estimates
Although GA owner-pilots are not responding to
can become wildly inadequate once shocking
the FAA's $500 rebate incentive as fast as I think
discoveries are made. At some point, the cost of
they should, the smart operators have done the
Continued on page 28
supply-and-demand math and understand this year