Honeywell Explains Why ADS-B Updates Today Will Save You a Headache in 2020
Your answer could be a business aircraft. Of course, how you’ll get to where you want to be in 2020 depends on whether your aircraft has completed its ADS-B Out compliance.
Three years may seem like plenty of time, but the window for meeting the Federal Aviation Administration’s mandate for ADS-B Out compliance is closing fast. In reality, the three-year time span is short considering the thousands of aircraft that need to be upgraded by a small network of business jet maintenance, repair and overhaul centers; the challenges faced in servicing so many aircraft; and the uncertainty felt by owners and operators that can bring upgrade decision-making to a halt.
The best way to avoid the headaches associated with this mandate is to plan early and start today. By getting ahead of the 2020 deadline, you won’t have to deal with installation facility backlogs, component shortages and installation price increases. This means you won’t risk having a grounded aircraft or be unable to fly in optimal airspace in 2020, and you can continue to focus on flying to your destinations of choice.
What You Need to Know About ADS-B Out
Technically: The mandate states that the transponder must have Extended Squitter Mode S and operate on a radio frequency of 1090 MHz.
Simplified: Extended Squitter is an important but uncommon term. A squitter is a periodic broadcast of information about an aircraft’s position, direction of flight, velocity, vertical climb and descent sent from the transponder to air traffic control computers. This lets controllers (ADS-B Out*), other aircraft and you (if you have ADS-B In**) track each airplane’s position and path with greater accuracy.Honeywell offers ADS-B Out solutions for more than 23 aircraft types equipped with Honeywell cockpits, but since each aircraft type has different cockpit configurations, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution and it takes time to manage the right changes. So it’s important to start preparations early and have a clear understanding of how the different components that must work together can make ADS-B part of an integrated cockpit system.
Depending on the particular aircraft configuration, several additional components may be necessary to complete the upgrade. Examples include transponders, GPS, radio systems, communications, and other supporting components and software.
Reviewing the 2020 Checklist: Key Items for ADS-B Out Compliance
While every experience is different, here are a few key items to keep top of mind.
1.) DO-260B-Compliant Transponders
Technically: The DO-260B standards require transponders to have Extended Squitter capabilities and be coupled with a self-aware GPS that can pinpoint its location down to roughly three meters.
Simplified: Aircraft have transponders to assist with several processes, including identifying each plane on air traffic control radar and detecting aircraft at risk of colliding with each other, as part of collision avoidance systems. Upgraded transponders have more detailed positioning and accuracy to help improve overall safety.2.) GPS Requirements
Technically: To comply with DO-260B and ADS-B, a GPS “Selective Availability Aware” capable sensor is required to provide the position, velocity, altitude, figure of merit and integrity limit data for the Mode S Transponder.
Simplified: GPS units provide accurate navigation information for a full range of flight requirements, including C-145b and C-146b. An upgraded GPS unit will also retain departure, climb, en route and descent navigation information. This information provides better landing approaches, such as Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV), that lower flight descent as low as 200‒250 feet above a runway.
3.) Data and Voice Communications
Technically: The radio system encompasses all primary radio navigation and communication functions. The proper data and voice communications hardware is important when operating in an ADS-B-compliant environment that manages greater information throughout because the hardware helps ensure more consistent communication.
Simplified: Data and voice communications are an important function in flight operations. Updated systems are adding more functionality by expanding data and voice to include a digital audio system that provides audio, interphone and passenger address systems to improve safety and efficiency.
Ready or Not, the Time Is Now
There is no better time than now to get started on upgrading your aircraft. Big investments can lead to hesitancy, but getting started now gives aircraft owners and operators more choices and greater flexibility in the products, pace of installation and path to upgrades they select. With these benefits, addressing the ADS-B Out mandate early is clearly the right choice.
Several business jet maintenance, repair and overhaul centers have received Supplemental Type Certificates to upgrade aircraft for ADS-B Out mandate compliance. As those centers grow their capabilities to service aircraft, Honeywell continues to develop transponders, antennas, radio systems and other avionics to achieve ADS-B compliance. This makes it possible to deliver improved value, performance and efficiency to upgraded aircraft.
Ultimately, planning and investing in these upgrades today can eliminate the hassle long before 2020. It’s time to start thinking about where you want to be at the start of 2020 to make sure a mandate won’t ground you.