Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2016-2017 - 41
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 absorbing the ADS-B cost now .
However, lack of ADS-B compliance will significantly
impact the sales value later .
"Eventually, you will pay for it one way or the
other," Harpster said, "because the aircraft won't
meet the expected baseline for avionics if you try to
sell it without ADS-B equipment ."
Dispel the cost myth
The cost of ADS-B equipage is often
misunderstood or overstated . Equipping a Part 23
aircraft is reasonably inexpensive . A Part 25 aircraft
will cost more than a smaller, less-complicated
aircraft, but there's likely to be no better time to
equip cost-wise than now . Compare the cost of
equipping to the cost of your airplane-turnedpaperweight on Jan . 1, 2020 . Now the price tag
seems like a reasonable investment, doesn't it?
The experts agree that prices of equipment
are likely to increase during the next few years
as demand increases . Harpster reports some
equipment manufacturers are already shutting down
expedited orders, even with added fees .
The longer an aircraft owner waits to equip, the
more severe the bottleneck will be . Even if you're
ready to equip closer to the deadline - say the
third quarter of 2019 - there might not be enough
resources to meet your needs . Previous concerns
about the FAA changing equipment requirements
are now unfounded, say the experts, who agree the
requirements have stabilized .
"The FAA's deadline isn't going to move,"
Harpster said . "If you aren't compliant on Jan . 1,
2020, you will have significant restrictions . I wouldn't
want to be the guy to explain that to the boss or
charter customers ."
The bottom line is equipping for the 2020
mandate will cost aircraft owners money . The
question is - do your managed aircraft owners want
to pay a reasonable cost now or wait until late 2019
and likely pay more, if they can even find a shop
available to do the upgrade?
"Start planning for ADS-B equipage now,"
Hague said . "Talk with the owners of the aircraft
you manage and determine a plan to equip that
fits with the clients' other maintenance needs . If
for no other reason, it's just good business . It's a
disservice to your clients to postpone or avoid the
conversation ." q
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