ADS-B Will Bring Reckoning to Preowned Bizjet Market

 - March 19, 2018, 10:31 AM
Older aircraft, such as the Falcon 50 (shown), CitationJet, and Learjet 31a may be forced into obsolescence one the U.S. ADS-B mandate takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

With the U.S. ADS-B Out compliance deadline looming, “we’re about 18 months from a significant reckoning in the preowned business jet market due to obsolescence,” Mesinger Jet Sales president and CEO Jay Mesinger said this morning at the NBAA Business Aircraft Finance, Registration, and Legal Conference in Fort Myers, Florida. According to co-presenter JetNet iQ managing director Rolland Vincent, U.S. operators of 13,425 business jets—one-third of the in-service fleet—currently have no ADS-B upgrade plan in place.

Vincent estimates that 25 to 30 percent of these jets are in line for retirement when the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B compliance date rolls around. Of those operators who have no plans yet in place, 36.5 percent intend to visit a shop to upgrade, but have not yet done so; 7.7 percent expect to replace their aircraft with one that is already upgraded; 6.3 percent said they will sell their non-upgraded aircraft; 13.3 percent have not yet decided; and 2.6 percent believe the FAA will delay the compliance deadline, despite the agency’s repeated statements otherwise, according to the latest JetNet iQ data.

Forty-six percent of the business jets on the preowned market are now more than 20 years old, Vincent said, noting that the cost to install ADS-B equipment on aging aircraft is likely to be prohibitive, accelerating their obsolescence. “After about year 25, the inventory will get cleaned up,” he said. Asked what will be done with these airframes, Vincent quipped, “Maybe the fuselages can be used for roadside stands somewhere.”