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Keeping ADS-B Mindful of Amateur-Built Possibilities

September 17, 2015 - Earlier this week, Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety, attended the Equip 2020 work group in Washington, D.C. The group is focused on identifying and mitigating the potential obstacles for equipping aircraft operating within Class B and C airspace and above 10,000 feet MSL with ADS-B “out” avionics.

Members of Equip 2020 include the airlines, avionics manufacturers, and many GA organizations such as AOPA, GAMA, NATA, NBAA, etc. The overall goal of the working group is to make the transition to satellite-based traffic separation as smooth as possible while ensuring maximum participation by those using the National Airspace System.

EAA’s focus has primarily been within a subgroup representing general aviation. We have focused on many significant hurdles to equipage facing the GA community, and particularly amateur-built aircraft. EAA’s most significant accomplishments have centered on ensuring that equipment in experimental aircraft is held to a performance compliance requirement within the rules and policy surrounding implementation, rather than a specific technical requirement.

No actual certification (TSO) process should be required or even appropriate when considering what works for amateur-built aircraft, as it runs contrary to the very nature of the experimental category concept.

Finding a good pathway for S-LSA equipage and manufacturer support of the appropriate process is still unclear and more work is yet to be done. EAA will continue to work with this group to establish the best solutions over the next year.

Prior to the mandate going into effect on January 1, 2020, EAA aims to make sure our members have the best path for equipping their aircraft or building project. Even if you do not have to equip (if you will not be operating in Class B or Class C airspace or above 10,000 feet MSL), there are some terrific features that might convince you to still consider it down the road. Either way, the EAA community will have some of the best and most cost-effective options available within GA!

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