Duncan Aviation logo

Do I Have To Have ADS-B Out?

January 2017

What is ADS-B Out?

ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) is a terrestrial- and satellite-based technology that lets properly equipped aircraft broadcast a signal containing formatted data with an aircraft’s precise location to ATC (air traffic control). The aircraft’s navigation system broadcasts the signal automatically, no pilot action needed.

ADS-B Graphic (Mobile)Pinpointing accurate positions isn’t possible with the 80-year-old radar-based tracking systems currently in use; radar cannot accurately gauge separation above and below (vertical) or on either side (horizontal) of an aircraft. The FAA has updated the infrastructure throughout the United States, transitioning from the analog, wholly land-based radar system to a digital system that uses a mix of satellite- and land-based equipment for monitoring and guiding air traffic.

Accurate positioning allows ATC to safely fit more aircraft into smaller air spaces, letting pilots fly more direct routes to their destinations, which saves time and reduces fuel consumption. The risk of runway incursions drops, as pilots and ATC can see the exact location of other aircraft and airport ground vehicles.

The new infrastructure is more reliable because the accuracy of digital equipment isn’t affected by heavy rain, and formerly remote areas, such as airspace over the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, will now have continuous coverage.

Why Do I Have to Have ADS-B Out?

In May 2010, the FAA published two Federal Regulations (14 CFR § 91.225 and 14 CFR § 91.227) that require ADS-B systems in all affected aircraft/airspace by January 1, 2020.

Do I Need ADS-B Out? If So, What Equipment Do I Need?

Yes, you do. To comply with the mandate deadline, an aircraft needs certified avionics equipment that can transmit or broadcast the signal at any altitude from the minute you take off and that can accurately determine the aircraft’s position.

If you’re flying below 17,999 feet and in US airspace only, you need one or the other:

  • A 978-MHz UAT (Universal Access Transceiver) OR
  • A 1090-MHz Mode S ES (extended squitter) transponder combined with a certified GPS navigation source (such as WAAS GPS)

If you’re flying above 18,000 feet and/or outside of US airspace, you must have:

  • A 1090-MHz Mode S ES (extended squitter) transponder combined with a certified GPS navigation source (such as WAAS GPS)

Extended squitter refers to the greater amount of automatic and periodic data sent from the aircraft without prompting from the pilot or without a request from ATC.

What Will Happen if I Don’t Have ADS-B on 12:01 am on Jan. 1, 2020?

Because your aircraft will not be transmitting the requisite signals, ATC will call you when you land and inform you that you’re grounded until your equipment is upgraded. Post-mandate, on a case-by-case basis, ATC may give permission to relocate the aircraft in order to have it modified for compliance with the mandate. You’ll then be notified that your aircraft is grounded until it complies with the mandate.

Updated ADS-B Straight Talk Book

The January 2020 deadline gets closer every day, and there are still several thousand owners and operators who need to make the necessary equipment upgrades to their aircraft prior to midnight on December 31, 2019. Flying without ADS-B after 12 a.m. on January 1, 2020, is going to be fraught with limitations.

Why wait and risk a potential AOG situation? Download a copy of our ADS-B Straight Talk book (www.DuncanAviation.aero/resources/straight-talk/ads-b) today or visit the new Duncan Aviation ADS-B NOW website (www.DuncanAviation.aero/services/avionics-installation/adsb) to find out what you need to make sure your aircraft is in compliance with the FAA’s ADS-B mandate.