The satellite based air traffic control system, called NextGen is moving ahead and the FAA has published their final rule on what equipment aircraft owners will be required to have by 2020. In addition to transponders already in use, aircraft will be required to have automatic dependent serveillance-broadcast out or (ADS-B Out). Experts agree this move will force individual pilots to spend thousands on equipment which adds no benefit beyond duplicating what they already have with today’s radio transponder.
Apparantly general aviation will once again foot the bill for something which primarily benefits the FAA and the commercial airlines. In addition to the new equipment, pilots will be required to maintain the existinge transponders. The total cost to upgrade aircraft with the new equipment carries estimated cost to general aviation of from $1.2 to $4.5 billion and appears in the FAA’s own document in a section titled “General Aviation: High Equipage Costs with Little Benefit.”
The overall benefits of the new system are seen to outweigh still another financial hit to general aviation and include estimates of fuel savings and operational cost savings.
A variety of options to minimize costs to general aviation are being considered by the FAA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is committed to working with the FAA to explore all the options.