ADS-B Costs Versus Benefits Remain Industry’s Concern

 - June 1, 2010, 11:33 AM

The FAA’s final rule on ADS-B equipage, published last week, appears to offer little change from the agency’s October 2007 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that was met by almost total industry opposition. The primary concern continues to be the questionable benefits to operators of ADS-B Out equipment compared with its purchase, installation and certification costs. In comments regarding the NPRM, the Air Transport Association cautioned, “Any rule requiring this type of equipage and expense must be based on a solid business case in which the true benefits and real costs are fully understood and justified.” AOPA expressed similar views about the NPRM, with the group mystified by FAA’s “Washington arithmetic” calculation that ADS-B Out would result in $200 million in GA benefits, while acknowledging–under a rule subheading of “General Aviation: High Equipage Costs with Little Benefit”–that GA equipage costs from 2012 through 2035 would range “from $1.2 billion to about $4.5 billion.” Separately, one expert told AIN that the agency’s treatment of GPS/ADS-B security is “superficial,” noting that while a backup strategy was mentioned, it was not convincingly explained. The Aerospace Industries Association, whose membership includes the avionics industry, enthusiastically supports the final rule.