ADS-B Out installations in Europe are robust but steady, according to companies interviewed by AIN, despite one forecaster’s expectation that many aircraft on the continent won’t be equipped with it in time for the June 7, 2020 deadline. The European ADS-B mandate applies only to aircraft with an mtow exceeding 5,700 kg (12,566 pounds) or having a maximum cruising true airspeed capability greater than 250 knots.
Still, JetNet iQ director Rolland Vincent told AIN, “Thousands of aircraft are not going to make these deadlines. After years of notice from the authorities, I cannot imagine that they would look kindly on a request for an extension as this would penalize the owners and operators who followed the rules.”
About 70 percent of European operators and owners responding to JetNet’s ADS-B Out Compliancy Survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2018 expect to be compliant by the time the mandate takes effect, while nearly 15 percent somewhat agree that they’ll be ready. But 10 percent are uncertain while 3 percent somewhat disagree and 1.5 percent strongly disagree, according to the survey.
At Collins Aerospace, the strongest uptake for ADS-B Out was seen among operators and owners of VIP and VVIP bizliners three or four years ago, J.P. Rivet, director of business development and marketing for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, told AIN. “They want to be able to go anywhere anytime, right? So they look at the closest mandate they want to comply with and then that makes them ready for all of the following mandates.” More recently, Rivet noted, “we’ve really started to see a strong uptake in the business aviation segment as well, so we are seeing things pick up.” That means Collins dealers are busier but just how much busier is not clear. Rivet didn’t know if they’re close to reaching a point where they won’t be able to accept additional installation jobs. “It’s difficult to say. With the mandates, if people wait until the last minute then they’re going to find it more and more difficult to find ground time, kits for STCs, and eventually hardware, too.”
Scheduling ADS-B Out installs at ExecuJet MRO Services, which is being sold to Dassault by Luxaviation Group, hasn’t been a problem yet, group sales director Des Miles told AIN. “Our regular customers are fully aware of the mandate deadlines and a good percentage have already complied with the modifications,” he explained. “It is evident that the larger, newer aircraft have complied with these modifications sooner than the smaller, older aircraft. Yes, we are busy with ADS-B installations across the group and we still have spare capacity to take on more aircraft.”
About 80 percent of ExecuJet’s soon-to-be former parent company’s managed fleet have been upgraded, Luxaviation Group chief technology officer David Van Den Langenbergh told AIN. “We started to schedule the upgrades around five years ago,” he noted. “Depending on the OEM, we were able to upgrade some aircraft sooner than others, as the technology was made available sooner.” Of the aircraft that haven’t been updated, some are awaiting base maintenance that’s scheduled after January 1, 2020—the U.S. date for ADS-B Out—while others haven’t because they are pending sale by their owners. “Throughout this process, we ensure that the end-users are updated regularly and make sure they are well aware of the consequences if the mandate is not met,” Van Den Langenbergh added.