With the FAA’s mandatory ADS-B equipage deadline less than half a year away now, industry data provider and flight tracker FlightAware is reporting that the U.S.-registered, turbine-powered business aircraft fleet has achieved a 77 percent equipage rate. The numbers in its just-released June report show 13,352 of the jets and turboprops, out of the 17,319 registered, are now compliant with the 2020 ADS-B mandate, representing a 22 percent increase over the total a year ago.
Among the highest percentages of equipage are light jets such as the Cirrus Vision and the HondaJet, both at 97 percent of their fleet totals; Gulfstream’s G150 and G650 at 93 percent; Cessna’s CJ4 at 92 percent and Latitude at 91 percent; and the Beechcraft King Air 300 at 90 percent.
The only models with less than 50 percent equipage rates currently are the Gulfstream III at 43 percent and the Learjet 55 at 49 percent.
Business aviation analyst Rolland Vincent expressed some surprise at how much some popular legacy aircraft types are lagging at this point, such as the Citation XL/XLS (69 percent), Bombardier Challenger 300 (81 percent), and the Gulfstream IV (73 percent). He believes some owners will still wait for what they view as a more affordable option before they upgrade, even if that means parking their aircraft. “I don’t see the deadline moving,” he told AIN, adding that it doesn’t mean the end of the line for noncompliant aircraft. “Obviously people who did not meet the deadline are going to be in line to get the work done in the first six or 12 months of 2020, but I think there are going to be a lot of people scratching their heads on January 1.”