January 21, 2016 - EAA has proposed a path forward for owners of special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) to equip ADS-B equipment per the FAA’s 2020 mandate. Currently the manufacturer has the sole approval authority over any alteration to an S-LSA. In some cases this can be a barrier to ADS-B equipage, either because the manufacturer declines to approve an installation or the manufacturer no longer exists or no longer supports the product.
In comments to a recent change to FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 90-114A, EAA proposed a way to leverage existing regulation to empower the Chicago Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) to approve alterations to S-LSA aircraft. The proposal would allow the ACO to evaluate changes on a case-by-case basis. The traditional system of manufacturer-approved alterations in S-LSA would also remain unaltered.
“Owners of light-sport aircraft are an important part of the general aviation community, and we always look for ways to support them,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “Our proposal is meant to help some owners of special light-sport aircraft have an easier time installing mandated equipment without having to resort to options such as the experimental light-sport category.”
EAA has an active role in the FAA/industry “Equip 2020” working group, which works to identify barriers to affordable ADS-B equipage and eliminate them. A major victory won by EAA through Equip 2020 in the past year has been the FAA affirming that non-TSO equipment may be used to satisfy the ADS-B mandate in the experimental category.