FAA Certifies Garmin Dual-Band ADS-B Unit

GDL 88 is capable of receiving 978 and 1090 MHz ADS-B signals.

Garmin GDL 88
Garmin GDL 88
Garmin GDL 88

Still confused about whether you’ll need an ADS-B receiver that’s capable of operating in the 978-MHz UAT or the 1090 MHz frequency band? Garmin is making that discussion more or less moot for the vast majority of us with the introduction of the GDL 88, the first FAA-certified ADS-B receiver capable of receiving both frequency bands.

Announced last summer, the product has just received FAA TSO certification and a blanket AML STC, allowing Garmin to start shipping the $3,995 unit. The GDL 88 brings the benefits of access to advanced traffic information and subscription free weather for aircraft flying at any altitude, as well as compliance with the FAA’s 2020 ADS-B mandate for aircraft flying below 18,000 feet in the United States.

The capability is made possible by the use of dual-link technology that allows the GDL 88 to receive both the 978 MHz UAT and 1090 MHz frequency bands for traffic situational awareness. Features of the GDL 88 include TargetTrend relative motion technology, which helps the pilot visualize the trend of the traffic threats as it relates to their aircraft, and SURF technology, which detects other aircraft or ground vehicles on runways and taxiways that may pose a threat while taxiing or on approach.

The GDL 88 is compatible with a wide range of general aviation transponders to synchronize squawk code and ident, eliminating the need to install a dedicated UAT control panel. For aircraft owners who don’t already have a compatible GPS position source on board their aircraft, the GDL 88 is available with an optional built-in high integrity WAAS GPS receiver. The GDL 88 is also available with optional antenna diversity, which Garmin says enhances detection of traffic both above and below the aircraft while working to minimize blind spots from the wing or fuselage.