In an effort to spur adoption of ADS-B avionics ahead of the 2020 equipment mandate, the FAA yesterday announced a rebate program for owners of U.S.-registered piston airplanes — but as you might guess, there’s a catch.
Once the incentive program goes into effect in September, the first 20,000 aircraft owners to equip with ADS-B Out avionics will receive the cash incentive worth $500. It must be for new ADS-B avionics and not software updates or ADS-B gear in new airplanes. The program will run for one year or until the FAA distributes the 20,000 rebates.
GA aircraft owners have been slow to equip for the ADS-B mandate, which goes into effect after midnight on Dec. 31, 2019. Many say they have been waiting for less expensive equipment to hit the market as avionics makers get serious about competing for the pool of business, which essentially includes any aircraft that operates in controlled airspace where transponders are required today — estimated to be as high as 160,000 U.S.-registered airplanes.
The FAA is encouraging owners of fixed-wing piston airplanes to sign up for the incentive program as soon as it launches to secure a place in line for the $500 check.
“We’re calling on all aircraft owners who plan to fly in busy airspace to equip with ADS-B Out before the deadline,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We hope this initiative will encourage aircraft owners to get off the sidelines and take advantage of all the safety benefits NextGen has to offer.”