Issues Raised as ADS-B Installations Slowly Gain Steam

 - March 18, 2014, 2:40 PM

The Jan. 1, 2020, mandate for installation of ADS-B Out equipment in U.S.-registered aircraft was a hot topic last week at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Nashville, Tenn. FAA officials noted that of the estimated 157,000 aircraft that need the upgrade, fewer than 3,500 had undergone the work as of March 11.

About 40 aircraft need to be upgraded per day, and thus far the recent average has been about 13 per day. The FAA explained that once a system is either part of a new type-certified aircraft or installed under an amended or supplemental type certificate, then subsequent installations can be done using a field approval.

There have been problems with some installations, as measured by the FAA’s ADS-B compliance monitor system. About 754 of the 2,034 aircraft equipped for 1090ES ADS-B Out (for flights above FL180) and 94 of the 1,106 aircraft equipped for 978UAT are sending inaccurate ADS-B Out position, velocity and time information.

The FAA recommends that after installation, avionics shops test fly the aircraft then send an email to the FAA’s compliance monitor team to check whether the system is broadcasting properly. If an aircraft is found to be out of spec, the team will contact the owner. “We want you to do it right,” the FAA’s Alex Rodriguez told avionics installers.