AEA Says FAA Memo Has "Fatal Effect" on NextGen

If you've been waiting for the Aircraft Electronics Association's take on what to expect from the FAA's plan to implement ADS-B, you're not going to like what you hear. In an Oct. 4, memo to the FAA, the AEA didn't mince words. The association said the FAA's Aug. 30 memo would "stall early equipage, delay early implementation and, at the extreme, cause the failure of ADS-B implementation altogether." At issue are the rules surrounding supplemental type certificates (STCs) for the first installations of ADS-B equipment. According to AEA, the rules, as proposed, would double the cost of adding the equipment to business jets, and increase the cost by up to 700 percent for light aircraft. Costs are expected to fall over time to an expected average $4,500 per light aircraft, but AEA contends that there is little incentive for aircraft operators to be the "early adopters" of a technology that is projected to decrease in cost so precipitously. The AEA urges "immediate intervention to limit the damage caused by this policy," and further stated, "We believe the consequences of the Aug. 30, 2010, memorandum will have a fatal effect on the first phase of your FAA Flight Plan toward the Next Generation Air Transportation System."