The FAA and U.S. aviation industry have formed an “Equip 2020” working group to rally aircraft operators behind automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology. The FAA announced the plan following an invitation-only “call to action” meeting held on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Under a May 2010 final FAA rule, operators in the U.S. must equip their aircraft with ADS-B OUT to broadcast their precise position in space to ground controllers and other equipped aircraft by Jan. 1, 2020. The agency has installed a nationwide network of ADS-B ground stations, but aircraft operators are lagging in installing the necessary avionics. In fact, a DOT Inspector General report issued last month found that only 3 percent of airliners and 10 percent of general aviation aircraft are equipped with ADS-B thus far.
At Tuesday’s meeting, which was not open to the press, industry representatives identified “key barriers” to ADS-B equipage. NBAA vice president of regulatory and international affairs Doug Carr attended the meeting and told AIN that he outlined three main problems: ADS-B avionics price, to include low-cost loans for equipage; ensuring ADS-B avionics also meet requirements in countries outside the U.S.; and privacy, since blocked aircraft can be tracked via a network of ADS-B receivers hosted by aviation enthusiasts. Carr also offered several solutions to these problems.