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FAA reopens $500 ADS-B rebate program – key takeaways

Stratus ESG

The most frequently asked question we receive here at iPad Pilot News relates to portable vs. installed ADS-B equipment, and what type of hardware must be installed to legally fly in U.S. airspace after January 1, 2020. The topic was recently reignited with the FAA’s reinstatement of the $500 ADS-B rebate program. This is a complicated subject area, and unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all answer.

At the most basic level, your airplane must have a compliant ADS-B out transponder. This hardware must be installed and connected to an approved position source (WAAS GPS) to continue flying in airspace that currently requires a Mode C transponder after the 2020 deadline. Conversely, you’re perfectly legal to continue flying in rural parts of the country, below 10,000′ MSL and outside of Class B and C airspace without having to buy or install an ADS-B out transponder.

Stratus 3 on dashThe next key element to understand is that portable ADS-B receivers, like Stratus, Sentry or Garmin’s GDL receivers, can only be used for ADS-B In services and cannot used to meet the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate. These small devices receive the data broadcast from ADS-B ground towers and allow you to display subscription-free weather and traffic on your iPad or other mobile devices. They typically cost less than $800 and have a self-contained battery and antenna. Learn more about the various options in our ADS-B Receiver Buyer’s Guide.

To be ADS-B Out compliant you must have an FAA-approved ADS-B out transponder. ADS-B Out is a surveillance technology for tracking aircraft – it’s what ATC needs to manage traffic. It reports your aircraft’s position, velocity and altitude once per second. This transmission is received by ATC and nearby aircraft and this data makes up the equivalent of a radar display.

This ADS-B Out transmitter must be a panel-installed, certified solution (again, no portable ADS-B Out option). An approved WAAS GPS source is also required, to make sure your reported position is accurate. This GPS source may come from a connected GPS navigator or via an internal GPS chip built into the transponder. Remember, though, there is no mandate for ADS-B In equipment.

GTX 345 ADS-B Out

There are lots of good options available for ADS-B out transponders today, including the Stratus ESG, Garmin GTX 335, uAvionix skyBeaconmultiple options from L3 and FreeFlight. You’ll also see there are two types of transponders that broadcast on either the 1090 or 978 MHz spectrum, sometimes referred to as 1090ES and 978 UAT. Check out this 978 vs. 1090 article for more information to learn which one is best for your airplane and type of flying.

While ADS-B out transponder prices have come down since the first models hit the market several years ago, you’re still looking at an average price of $3,000 plus installation. The good news though is that the FAA is stepping up again and helping to reduce some of the expense, by relaunching the $500 ADS-B transponder rebate program.

This second phase runs through October 11, 2019, and is available to U.S.-registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft first registered before January 1, 2016. Your selected transponder must have received an ADS-B Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization and meet ADS-B Out rule requirements. Here’s how to take advantage of the program:

Step 1

Select equipment for purchase.
Ensure your aircraft registration information is up-to-date in the FAA Aircraft Registry.
Discuss the plans with a certified installer to ensure it will work correctly.
Once an appointment is scheduled to install the avionics, you are ready to reserve your rebate.

Step 2

When within 90 days of avionics installation, reserve your rebate.
Receive your Rebate Reservation Code.

Step 3

Install the TSO-certified ADS-B avionics on your eligible aircraft.

Step 4

Fly per program rules within 60 days of installation to validate equipment performance.
Receive incentive code.

Step 5

Within 60 days of the installation date, use your Rebate Reservation Code and Incentive Code to claim your rebate.

For a more thorough review, check out this recording from of our recent webinar covering all the details on equipping for 2020:

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Source: Ipad appsFAA reopens 0 ADS-B rebate program – key takeaways

Rockwell Collins offers Aireon ADS-B tracking

Rockwell Collins announced at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 15 that it is now offering Aireon space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) flight tracking to its business aviation customers. The flight tracking solution, a first for the company, resulted from the integration of Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect solution and FlightAware’s terrestrial ADS-B network.

Source: aopaRockwell Collins offers Aireon ADS-B tracking

Garmin begins to integrate Fltplan.com features

Fltplan Garmin page
Fltplan.com flights can now be displayed in Garmin Pilot.

When Garmin bought Fltplan.com and the companion Fltplan Go apps, it seemed like a complementary pairing – one company has strength in mobile apps and panel avionics, the other has strength in online tools and handling services. At NBAA this week, Garmin announced the first step on its road to integrating the pieces, and as you would expect they are pursuing the most popular features first.

The most significant new feature, available in Garmin Pilot version 9.5, allows you to create a flight plan online at Fltplan.com and then see it in the app. This is basic but really powerful. Many pilots (especially in turbine airplanes) are fiercely loyal to Fltplan.com’s online planning tools but fly with a cockpit full of Garmin avionics; now the wall between the two has been knocked down.

First go to the Garmin Pilot app, tap the Menu button at the top left, then choose Settings. Then enter your Fltplan.com login credentials on the FltPlan.com settings page (the eigth option on the left). Finally, go to the Trip Planning tab and you’ll see any upcoming flights and all flights from the previous 48 hours.

You’ll notice a FltPlan.com icon underneath the route on the left side, indicating it was created online and not in the app. That’s important, because if you want to update the flight plan you’ll need to do it online at FltPlan.com and that requires an internet connection. We’d suggest you use this tool for preflight planning at home or at the FBO.

Once you’re ready to fly, tap the Activate button at the top right of the Trip Planning page and the route will be loaded onto the Map page. You can also load the route into Garmin avionics if the airplane has a FlightStream wireless link installed. So a typical flow might be: plan online at FltPlan.com, load into Garmin Pilot and activate the route, then send to the panel via FlightStream.

One other nice feature is the addition of FltPlan.com’s navlog to the app. This is another one of the site’s most popular features, since it packs almost all the essential information onto one easy-to-read page. From the Trip Planning page, tap NavLog and you’ll see the familiar layout. This can be viewed in full screen or shared via email, text and AirDrop.

The menu also includes a dedicated FltPlan.com option now. This is essentially a web browser built into the app, so you’ll need an internet connection for it to work. However, it’s a fast way to access all your flight plans and make any changes without leaving Garmin Pilot.

We expect to see more integration between Garmin Pilot and FltPlan.com in the near future. For now, version 9.5 of Garmin Pilot is available in the App Store.

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Source: Ipad appsGarmin begins to integrate Fltplan.com features

FAA Announces $40.9 Million for New Tower at GSO

Washington, DCThe U.S. Department of Transportations Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investing $40.9 million in infrastructure for Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, NC. The Agency is building a new, 180-foot-tall Air Traffic Control Tower.

The new control tower will accommodate up to eight positions for air traffic controllers in a 550- square-foot tower cab. A 15,650 square-foot base building will anchor the new tower. It will house the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) with up to 10 radar positions for air traffic controllers. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art automation and communications systems. The base building also will include administrative offices and a training classroom. Construction will begin in early 2019, and the FAA expects to commission the facility in early 2022.

The new tower will allow air traffic controllers to manage flights safely and efficiently at North Carolinas third busiest airport. Greensboro Tower controlled 84,600 flights, and the TRACON handled 155,000 radar operations in the 12 months ending on Sept. 1, 2018.

The FAA awarded the construction contract to Archer Western Construction, LLC, of Chicago, IL. The new facility will replace the existing 90-foot-tall tower that has been in operation since 1974.

Source: FAAFAA Announces .9 Million for New Tower at GSO