ADS-B Debacle: Are Users Diminishing its Benefits, or Will it Kill General Aviation?

The imminent implementation of ADS-B has divided the aviation community more deeply than many other technologies before it. On one side, the Federal Aviation Administration sings its praises as far as the safety advancements it offers. It also offers the FAA considerable savings if antiquated ground-based navigation is given the boot, so a move to ADS-B may have the Feds seeing dollar signs all around.


On ramps and in hangars around the country, however, many owners are wringing their hands as they watch the clock tick down to the 2020 deadline that the FAA has been promising. For some, the equipment purchase and installation is a costly annoyance. For others, especially owners of older single-engine planes, the installation costs may be enough to drive them to sell before they are forced into pricey modifications required to support the ADS-B system.


AVweb contributor Paul Bertorelli raises another valid point—for a large portion of the average, middle-class people who fly, the ADS-B requirements may turn flying from an affordable indulgence into an unattainable luxury. It is no secret that flying has always been expensive, and fuel prices and maintenance costs have only made it more so. General aviation is already seeing dwindling pilot and owner levels, and the average age of those who remain is climbing quickly. For aircraft owners who are older, the added costs may push them to sell sooner. Younger pilots may be turned off by the higher prices. Either way, much of the traffic ADS-B could alert pilots to may be scared off before it has a chance to spot it.


The Arizona aviation accident attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten are interested to hear what you think about the upcoming ADS-B mandate, so sound off in the comments below! If you have questions or concerns about what the mandate will mean for you and your aircraft, call us at 602-258-1000 today.

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