Costly STC Requirements Threaten ADS-B Installations

 - November 30, 2010, 11:14 AM

Under a new FAA rule, ADS-B installation costs will at least double for corporate aircraft and could increase by up to 700 percent for general aviation aircraft, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA). The association bases its prediction on a decision by the FAA’s aircraft engineering division that, effective August 30, field approval of ADS-B Out installations was replaced by the STC process. The AEA stated that while a field-approved general aviation ADS-B installation might cost the owner approximately $5,000, the STC requirement could raise that figure to $35,000. Describing the new rule as “creating severe turbulence” for the avionics industry, the AEA told FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt that it “may have an unintended consequence in the industry’s ability to implement your flight plan for NextGen.” It added, “Without your immediate intervention, this will stall early equipage, delay early implementation and, at the extreme, cause the failure of ADS-B implementation altogether.” The AEA also pointed out that the new mandate “is contrary” to the ADS-B installation cost data submitted to the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, stated the AEA, “because of the high cost and slow (STC) certification times, the agency has effectively killed all new and novel technology advances in ADS-B.” The FAA has yet to respond to the AEA.