ADS-B Upgrade Requirements: What You Need to Know

The ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) requirements are being implemented by the FAA as a safer and more efficient way of controlling airspace. Data received from individual aircraft will display other aircraft in the area, along with hazardous weather and terrain features. Another important feature of ADS-B will be the addition of data to currently radar data sparse areas. Here are some key elements you’ll need to know about the ADS-B transition.

When Will I Be Required to Upgrade?

The current FAA regulations indicate January 1st, 2020 as the ADS-B implementation deadline for aircraft operating in designated airspace. If your aircraft does not enter ADS-B designed space, you will not be required to comply with the directive under current guidance.

How Will I Know if I’m in ADS-B Airspace?

You can access the FAA’s interactive coverage map here.

What is the Difference Between ADS-B Out and ADS-B In

ADS-B Out is the mandated upgrade due no later than January 1st, 2020. This means your aircraft will contain transponders that broadcast information OUT to other aircraft and ground stations. ADS-B In is optional at this time and provides information to be used in the cockpit by pilots operating properly equipped aircraft on panel-mounted avionics.

Should I Upgrade to ADS-B In?

It depends on your needs. The ADS-B In upgrade will provide a wealth of free information in-flight via the FIS-B and TIS-B. You’ll be able to receive NOTAMs, AIRMET, SIGMET, PIREPS, TFRs, and more at no cost. Again, this is an optional service upgrade, but the benefits are many.

Where Can I Get Upgraded?

Contact your local avionics installation experts to find out what your airplane requires and how much the upgrade will cost. The cost depends on your plane’s current capabilities and how much you upgrade.

Don’t’ wait around until the last minute to get your avionics upgrade. As many people tend to do, there will likely be a rush during the last year to satisfy the new requirement. This will stress the equipment supply chain and technician availability across the country.