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Ignore The Calendar. Watch The Clock. NextGen Non-Compliance Will Ground Your Aircraft.

When NBAA-BACE 2016 opens on November 1st, and any aircraft you operate is not yet ADS-B Out compliant, alarm bells should be sounding loud and long in your fight department.

As this year’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition begins, only 1,155 days will remain before all business, general, and commercial aircraft in the United States must have complied with the FAA Next Generation Air Transport System (NextGen) mandate to be ADS-B Out capable. Prudence dictates that January 1, 2020, should be utmost in your thoughts since that is the decreed date for completion.

In last year’s Fall issue of this publication (page 11), it was noted there is no single solution, and only a few o-the-shelf methods, to become compliant. The reason is because so many avionics installations and equipment dierences exist between aircraft. For example, just for the Beech King Air  eet, numbering more than 7,000, it could take anywhere from 40 to as many as 400 hours, depending on the type of equipment involved, how the various components are installed, and how much removal and preparation are required.

A quick math example will demonstrate why you could easily wind up with an aircraft that the FAA considers non-airworthy on New Year’s Day 2020.

FIRST, there are approximately only 350 avionics shops across the country that can perform ADS-B Out installations.

SECOND, the FAA estimates between 100,000 and 160,000 aircraft will need to have this work performed in the coming three years and two months after NBAA-BACE begins.

For our math example, we’ll assume 10,000 aircraft will depart the active  fleet and use 150,000 as affected fleet size. A further assumption is, at the current rate of equipage, somewhere in the range of 10 percent of the affected aircraft are now compliant. This reduces the total affected fleet size to 135,000.

THIRD, factor in weekends and holidays, which lower the number of available installation days to approximately 900.

THE RESULT: When you divide 135,000 aircraft by 900 days, this means 150 installations have to occur in every 24-hours of each five-day workweek period. Even if all 350 avionics shops did nothing but ADS-B Out installations, a minimum of two jobs per day would need to be completed. The rub, unfortunately, is that it usually takes considerably more (often far more) than four hours per installation.

Is the situation hopeless? For some, probably yes, simply due to how long they will wait. But unless you delay much longer, chances are you can still meet the requirement deadline. We all know that time passes quickly. Be sure the time for ADS-B Out mandate compliance doesn't pass you by.