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ADS-B out risk to European business jet fleet

More than one-tenth of Europe's business jets could be grounded by the beginning of the next decade, as upgrading certain older aircraft to meet new safety requirements will be prohibitively costly, a new study warns.

Under European regulations, all aircraft operating in the region from 7 June 2020 are mandated to be equipped with automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) out technology.

But UK aircraft sales and marketing company Colibri has identified 219 business jets from Europes 1,944-strong fleet where the cost of installing the new equipment will prove too much for operators.

The identified aircraft have a value of $750,000 or less, and were built in 1996 or earlier, says Colibri. The list includes 42 aircraft in France (23% of the country's fleet); 31 jets in the UK (16%) and 46 in Germany (11%).

Depending on the platform, an ADS-B out upgrade can cost between $25,000 and $200,000, Colibri says. It describes this outlay as "an unjustifiable expense" for some aircraft, "which could prohibit them from flying, and leave them grounded".

"The value of certain business aircraft in Europe may mean it's not worth spending tens of thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds installing ADS-B out," says Colibri managing director Oliver Stone.

He predicts that many of these models will broken up and sold for parts to maintenance companies as it "will become even harder for these owners to sell their aircraft in one piece".

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