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US business aircraft fleet not ADS-B compliant despite looming deadline

Almost a quarter of the US-registered business jets, and nearly half of the country's turboprop fleet has still not been fitted with automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) equipment, despite a looming deadline, according to a report from US engineering company Duncan Aviation.

As part of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) NextGen initiative, all business aircraft will have to be fitted with ADS-B equipment to fly in controlled airspace by 1 January 2020. A similar requirement in Europe will follow on 7 June 2020. The technology allows air traffic controllers to more accurately chart the position of aircraft.

Duncan Aviation's report, which is based on data from its "proprietary customer database, the FAA, and other industry sources", says 23% of the business jet fleet, or 3,384 aircraft, is not compliant. "At this rate, we anticipate that at least 1,660 [aircraft] will not be in compliance when the calendar flips to 1 January 2020," says Matt Nelson, Duncan's manager of satellite operations.

Turboprop equipage rates are even lower. According to Duncan, 49% of the qualifying fleet is not yet in compliance and "more than 3,800 examples will still need ADS-B upgrades at the beginning of 2020.

"I encourage operators who are not in compliance to consider investing in the upgrade this year," Nelson says.

He says ADS-B installation can take around 10 days.

Duncan adds that it holds or has access to 42 supplemental type certificates for FAA-approved ADS-B equipment on more than 100 business aircraft models.

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