By now, most pilots and aircraft owners are aware of the approaching ADS-B deadline. While this
may seem a long way off with just over five years to go, the FAA has clearly stated that they
will not extend the January 2020 compliance deadline, and studies have shown that there is not
enough capacity to upgrade the entire fleet of GA aircraft. The time to schedule and plan you
upgrade is now!
Pacific Coast Avionics specializes in avionics sales and ADS-B installations, and we understand the questions and concerns that you may have regarding this mandate. Do I need a new transponder or can I keep my old unit? What GPS do I need to install for compliance? What are the costs? We hear these and many other questions several times a day. With new options coming to the market with some frequency and a wide range of options now available, we stay on top of the requirements and tailor the available solutions to your needs. Please take a look at some of the information below. This may not answer all of your questions, so our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you understand the options available and find the right ADS-B product that best fits your aircraft, your typical flight, and your budget.
ADS-B is a system designed to replace ground based radar and will broadcast aircraft information and position to the ATC system for traffic separation. All aircraft with an electrical system operating within the U.S must at minimum, have AS-B “out” capability in order to fly in controlled airspace or above 2500 ft AGL. In order to meet this 2020 mandate, the position source for the ADS-B equipment must be a TSO’d WAAS GPS. That position is then broadcast out on one of two frequencies. This can be either 978 MHz or 1090MHz. Which transmitter you select will be based upon your aircraft and altitude you fly. Aircraft cruising over 18,000 feet must have a Mode S Transponder utilizing 1090MHz, while aircraft cruising at less than 18,000 feet may continue to use a standard Mode C Transponder but can use a 978MHz ADS-B transmitter. One key feature of ADS-B is the capability to receive subscription free traffic and weather information over the ADS-B system, which may require further equipment for receiving and display of the information.
While we are all required to participate in the ADS-B system, the benefits of better traffic separation with ATC and the ability to receive traffic and weather information in the cockpit, will allow us to better manage our time in the air, creating a safer environment for everyone.
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