NextGen Fund Will Help Finance Avionics

The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) announced yesterday it has reached a partnership agreement with the NextGen GA Fund to help aircraft owners find "quick, affordable financial incentives" for upgrading their avionics. With the 2020 equipage deadline, there has been concern within the general aviation community over the cost to upgrade current aircraft to meet the ADS-B mandate. The NextGen GA Fund was established by Congress as a public-private partnership with the aerospace industry to finance NextGen avionics installations.

Equipment that would qualify under the program includes WAAS-capable GPS, ADS-B In, ADS-B Out, RNAV/RNP avionics, data communications, flat-panel displays, antennas, electronic components, instrument panel modifications and costs for certification and installation. The fund will initially involve about $550 million to build a capital base to support the expected $1.3 billion NextGen will cost aircraft owners and operators over the next decade. Tens of thousands of aircraft are expected to be upgraded with the help of the fund.

Paula Derks, AEA president, said, "[The fund] will bring substantial private-sector capital to help pilots and aircraft owners overcome financial challenges to completing these safety-enhancing installations."

A special web portal to access the fund will launch this spring, AEA said.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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