FAA Offers General Aviation ADS-B Rebate

Starting this Fall, the FAA is offering a monetary incentive to help owners of less-expensive general aviation aircraft equip with the required avionics that comply with the ADS-B Out rule that will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. The agency will offer a $500 rebate to eligible aircraft owners.

Are you eligible for a rebate?FAA-ADSB-Rebate-Qualify

Eligible aircraft: Defined as U.S.-registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft, first registered before Jan 1, 2016.

Eligible equipment: Avionics that are certified to FAA Technical Standard Orders and meet the program rules (software upgrades of existing equipment are not eligible). Rebates are not available for aircraft already equipped with rule compliant ADS-B or for aircraft the FAA has previously paid or committed to pay for upgrade(s) to meet the ADS-B mandate.

Read the full program rules.

Start the Rebate process now by doing the following:

  • Validate: Review and validate the aircraft owner information and aircraft-specific information contained within the Civil Aircraft Registry. The FAA will determine rebate program eligibility using the information in the Civil Aircraft Registry, and all rebates will be mailed to the aircraft owner as recorded in the registry. Visit the FAA Registry.
  • Research: Go to the Equip ADS-B website to research eligible equipment. This website includes additional information about ADS-B mandate airspace.
  • Plan: Locate a certified installation location (Southeast Aerospace is your installation expert!), if required, and determine the specific aircraft requirements to ensure the installation is performed in accordance with applicable FAA regulations and meets the requirements identified in the General Aviation ADS-B Rebate Program Rules. While you may purchase the equipment now, your installation must occur after the program website is opened to rebate reservations to qualify for the rebate. The anticipated timeframe is estimated as Fall 2016.

Preview the ADS-B Rebate Process with our infographic.

Have questions? Get answers from our ADS-B Rebate Frequently Asked Questions.

[article written & published by FAA.gov, source: http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/rebate/]

SEA’s Take: NextGen and the March towards Progress

FAA-planeby Joe Braddock

The FAA recently released a list of more than 700 VOR and NDB instrument approach procedures that it proposes to cancel as the move towards the NextGen satellite-based air traffic system continues.  The FAA has set targets to reduce the number of operating VORs from 967 to 500 by the year 2020 according to the VOR MON Implementation Program dated October 24, 2012.

While there are certainly obvious cost considerations for maintaining both ground and satellite based navigation simultaneously, it remains to be seen if this movement towards only satellite based navigation will be detrimental in the future.  Redundancy and back-up systems are an essential part of aviation safety and aircraft operation.  All technologies are subject to interruption from natural disasters or sabotage, however satellite technology is also subject to other factors as well such as solar flares.  The FAA contends that this NextGen transition should be relatively seamless since it believes that most aircraft will have WAAS GPS receivers as part of ADS-B compliance.  However, several ADS-B products being offered today are incorporating GPS receivers for aircraft that do not have a dedicated WAAS GPS navigation radio on board.  Therefore, general aviation owners who can meet the ADS-B mandate with a UAT or transponder with built-in GPS will lose their ability for ILS approaches at the locations on the FAA closure list.

Alternatively, the FAA and USA as a country cannot afford to fund and account for every “what if” scenario.  Some of this responsibility will have to be taken on by owners and operators who are hesitant or cannot afford to upgrade their legacy avionics to NextGen type systems in the aircraft.  It seems to be a unified opinion that the National Airspace system is old and needs to be updated.  Safety and reliability cannot be assured with 50+ year old technology.  For example, many owner/operators were not pleased when they were forced to discontinue using LORAN in place of GPS.  However, no one can dispute the benefits of GPS technology in aircraft.   If planned properly and in a timely manner, most avionics upgrades can be painless, unobtrusive, and fundable.  It appears that the movement towards the Next Generation (NextGen) of aircraft technology is very strong and will not discontinue until all older technologies have been addressed.  Part of that is just simply human nature and progress.  Unfortunately, as with all things in life, that comes with a price most of the time.  That is not what many General Aviation operators want to hear, but it is the truth.

To access the FAA’s announcements, reports, and lists, Click HereIn addition, the FAA will accept comments in reference to the Proposed Rulemaking until May 28th , 2015.

ADS-B Field Approvals and Equipment Compatibility

Fgallery2-1Some questions in reference to certifying ADS-B Out in an aircraft via field approval seem to arise every now and then.  While most equipment OEMs attempt to obtain Approved Model Lists (AML) for their STCs, some aircraft operators and maintenance providers may attempt to seek ADS-B approval by installing GPS receivers with transponders that have not been previously approved by the FAA. 

While this sort of alternate ADS-B approval method may be possible, it certainly would not be the ideal method.  That is, the FAA is very clear in that for an ADS-B Out installation to be approved the pairing of the GPS and transponder must be “previously-approved” under type certificate (TC) or supplemental type certificate (STC).  Click Here to reference subject matter “Installation Approval for ADS-B Out Systems” on FAA Memo dated Oct 10, 2012 . Despite this certification and approval detail, all GPS and transponder manufacturers are still not completely on the same page in relation to one OEMs equipment playing properly with another OEMs equipment.  Some improvements in relation to OEM compatibility continue to be made as the deadline approaches, however it is still not a 100% known whether all GPS and transponder OEMs will work together in relation to ADS-B Out interfaces.  tech-pub

In addition, most GPS manufacturers frequently make software changes in their units which might affect the ADS-B functionality to the transponder.  As of the date of this article, OEMs are not obligated to share proprietary information that would enable or otherwise affect the ADS-B Out interface between varieties of equipment.  For reference, click Here for a document that provides a list of “FAA-Approved” ADS-B Out Avionics as of April 3, 2014.  While this list will obviously continue to be updated and expanded, it is important to reference since it lists what transponders have been approved to be used with “approved position source(s)”. 

FAA-LOGOAs indicated above, the FAA will not approve any ADS-B Out field approval if the transponder and associated position source are not on this list.  Likewise, installers and integrators should be cautious when attempting to interface GPS and transponders that are from separate manufacturers unless both manufacturers have approved the interface.  Southeast Aerospace will continue to provide the most up-to-date, realistic information regarding the ADS-B Out mandate and how it affects all parts of the aviation industry.   Please be on the look out for future SEA white papers, commentaries, and other reference material as the 2020 mandate approaches.


FAA Publishes Repair Station Final Rule | AEA.net

As published by AEA.net on 8/12/14 –

FAA_sealIn a very public win, the Federal Aviation Administration published its final rule that dropped the changes to the repair station rating system and retained only the authority to deny an application for a new repair station certificate if the applicant or certain associated key individuals had materially contributed to the circumstances that caused a previous repair station certificate revocation action.

The rule also adds a new section prohibiting fraudulent or intentionally false entries or omissions of material facts in any application, record or report made under the repair station rules.

Read Full AEA Article >>

SEA’s Thoughts

The most important aspect of this announcement is that the more drastic proposed changes were not accepted. The proposed changes would have had a significant effect on the way many repair stations do business. Growth and industry advancement is very important, but making sure it is advancement and not a distraction or hindrance is even more important.

As the AEA points out in the article linked above, over 230 comments were received stating serious concerns with the proposal changes. The majority of the commentators recognized that system of ratings is outdated, but there was general dissatisfaction with the proposed new system of ratings and transition process.

Although the FAA Repair Station system updates need to be addressed, perhaps less drastic measures will be proposed in the future.

SEA is excited to see what the future of aviation holds & looks forward to many more years of providing excellent products and services. For more information on SEA products and services, please visit www.SEAerospace.com.

FAA Approves First Commercial Drone Flights over Land

FAA_sealSurveys Will Check Pipelines, Infrastructure on Alaska North Slope

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has given approval for energy corporation BP and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturer AeroVironment to fly an AeroVironment Puma AE for aerial surveys in  Alaska—the first time the FAA has authorized a commercial UAS operation over land.

“These surveys on Alaska’s North Slope are another important step toward broader commercial use of unmanned aircraft,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The technology is quickly changing, and the opportunities are growing.”

The FAA issued a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization to survey BP pipelines, roads and equipment at Prudhoe Bay, AK, the largest oilfield in the United States. AeroVironment performed the first flight for BP on June 8.

The Puma AE is a small, hand-launched UAS that is about 4 1/2 feet long and has a wingspan of 9 feet. Using the information generated by the Puma’s sensors, BP hopes to target maintenance activities on specific roads and infrastructure, which will save time and support safety and operational reliability goals, while helping to protect the sensitive North Slope environment.

Last summer, the FAA issued restricted category type certificates to the Puma and Insitu’s Scan Eagle, another small UAS. The certificates were limited to aerial surveillance only over Arctic waters. The FAA recently modified the data sheet of the Puma’s restricted category type certificate to allow operations over land after AeroVironment showed that the Puma could perform such flights safely.

“The 2012 Reauthorization law tasks us with integrating small UAS in the Arctic on a permanent basis,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “This operation will help us accomplish the goal set for us by Congress.”

For more information on UAS and the FAA’s Arctic operations, go to: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/media/suas_arctic_plan.pdf

Source: Press Release – FAA Approves First Commercial UAS Flights over Land

FAA Completes Nationwide Equipment Installation for NextGen Aircraft Tracking System

Earlier this week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the completion of a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while giving pilots more information in the cockpit. This upgrade is a key improvement in the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

nextgen_blog“This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”

The nationwide installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network supports a satellite-based surveillance system that tracks aircraft with the help of GPS. This provides more accurate aircraft location information than the current radar system.

NextGen refers to a set of initiatives being implemented by the FAA in collaboration with the aviation community to ensure that the United States has the safest, most efficient airspace possible for decades to come. In addition to ADS-B, NextGen improvements are already delivering benefits that include more efficient air traffic procedures that save time and fuel and reduce emissions.

“The installation of this radio network clears the way for air traffic controllers to begin using ADS-B to separate equipped aircraft nationwide,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. “It will also provide pilots flying aircraft equipped with the proper avionics with traffic information, weather data and other flight information.”

Of the 230 air traffic facilities across the country, 100 are currently using this system to separate traffic. It is expected to be connected and operating at all 230 facilities by 2019. All aircraft operating in controlled airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics that broadcast the plane’s location, by Jan. 1, 2020.

With the upgraded surveillance and broadcast system and aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out transponders, aircraft positions on controller screens update almost continuously, compared to every 4.7 seconds or longer with radar.

ADS-B also enables more accurate tracking of airplanes and airport vehicles on runways and taxiways, increasing safety and efficiency. The new system significantly improves surveillance capability in areas with geographic challenges like mountains or over water. Airplanes equipped with ADS-B In, which is not currently mandated, will give pilots information through cockpit displays about location in relation to other aircraft, bad weather and terrain, and temporary flight restrictions.

In addition to the operational benefits of ADS-B, each one of the 634 ground stations installed by Exelis of McLean, Va., is substantially smaller than a radar installation – resulting in less impact to the environment and less cost to maintain.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration

AEA Praises Congressional Passage of the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 – AEA

Legislation Reflects Part 23 ARC Efforts

AEA LogoLEE’S SUMMIT, MO., Nov. 15, 2013 — On Thursday, Nov. 14, the U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval to the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013.

Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) introduced H.R. 1848 May 7, which passed unanimously by a 411-0 vote in July. A similar bill, S. 1072, was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), which passed the Senate in October.

The Senate version of the bill included a few changes, and House sponsors agreed. The bill now heads to President Obama for his signature.

With the passage of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act, it appears the collaborative effort in recent months by the Federal Aviation Administration Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) has paid off and resulted in the approved legislation. The bipartisan-supported bill updates and streamlines burdensome regulations on the general aviation industry and thereby improves safety, decreases costs and encourages private-sector innovation.

Read Full Press Release >

FAA to Allow iPhones, Kindles, PEDs During Takeoff and Landing – Condé Nast Traveler

It’s official after months of waiting, and a delay caused by the government shutdown, the FAA is giving fliers an early holiday gift: They’ll likely be able to read an e-book or listen to music in their iPod without having to power down before takeoff—probably by the end of the year.

The much anticipated announcement however, comes with some caveats. It’ll depend on the type of plane, type of device, and ultimately, the responsibility falls to the individual airline to make sure they’re in compliance.

Some of the details:

•Airlines can allow ‘gate to gate’ use of handheld, lightweight devices like Kindles, iPads and other tablets, and smartphones in airplane mode

•To prevent injuries passengers must hold onto, or stow, devices during take-off or landing. Heavier ones—including most laptops—will need to be stashed under seats or in overhead bins.

•Check with your airline on what devices they will allow and when: it’s up to the carrier to certify their planes can tolerate interference from devices. Delta and JetBlue are already scrambling to be the first to give you this perk

•Don’t expect to use cell phones for calls or other communications—that one wasn’t even on the table

Courtesy of the FAA

Continue Reading, Full Story on Conde Nast Traveler >