WHAT IS ADS-B AND WHY DO I NEED IT ?
By now, most pilots and aircraft owners are aware of the approaching ADS-B deadline. While this may seem a long way off with only four years left to go, the FAA has clearly stated that they will not extend the December 31st, 2019 compliance deadline. The time to schedule and plan you upgrade is now!
ADS-B is a system designed to replace ground based radar and will broadcast aircraft information and position to the ATC system for traffic separation. All aircraft operating within the U.S must at minimum, have ADS-B “out” capability in order to fly in controlled airspace or above 2500 ft AGL. In order to meet this 2019 mandate, the position source for the ADS-B equipment must be a TSO’d WAAS GPS. That position is then broadcast out on one of two frequencies. This can be either 978 MHz or 1090MHz. Which transmitter you select will be based upon your aircraft and altitude you fly. Aircraft cruising over 18,000 feet must have a Mode S Transponder utilizing 1090MHz. Aircraft cruising at less than 18,000 feet may continue to use their existing Mode S or Mode C Transponder (which may be upgraded to ABS-B “out” dependent on make and model) with a dedicated 978MHz Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) for their “out” solution. In addition to ADS-B “out”, another key feature of ADS-B is the option to receive ADS-B “in” depending on the customer’s ADS-B solution equipment. Although “in” is not a requirement, this will allow the owner to receive a subscription with free traffic and weather information.