• Tracey Cheek posted an article
    ADS-B Compliance: The Potential Consequences Of Violating Rule Airspace see more

    NAFA member, Greg Reigel, Partner with Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP., discusses ADS-B Compliance and Rule Airspace.

    As most aircraft operators know, or should know, aircraft must now be equipped with ADS-B Out in order to fly in most airspace within the U.S.  Although it is possible to take advantage of limited waivers or exceptions, generally speaking ADS-B Out is required for operations in “Rule Airspace.”

    In connection with this requirement, the FAA recently updated Order 2150.3C – FAA’s Compliance and Enforcement Program to explain potential sanctions for aircraft operations that do not comply with the ADS-B Out mandate.  Specifically, Chapter 9 of the Order now identifies the FAA’s sanction policy/guidance for ADS-B related violations.

    It is important to understand that the FAA will be taking these violations seriously. For example, if the FAA believes an airman is transmitting inaccurate ADS-B Out or transponder information with the intent to deceive, or is operating an aircraft without an activated transponder or ADS-B Out transmission (except as provided in 14 C.F.R. §91.225(f)) for purposes of evading detection, it will revoke that airman’s certificates.

    The sanction for other violations are not as severe, but are nonetheless significant.  The FAA characterizes the severity of the violation based upon levels of 1, 2 or 3, with Severity Level 3 being the most serious. And depending upon whether the FAA views the violation as careless or reckless/intentional, the sanction range could vary from low to maximum.

    The FAA evaluates violations based upon impact on safety.  “Technical Noncompliance” involves violations where serious injury, death, or severe damage could not realistically occur as a result of the violation conduct, even if theoretically possible. A violation with a “Potential Effect on Safety”  occurs in a situation where serious injury, death, or severe damage could realistically result, but under the facts and circumstances would not often occur. Finally, a violation falls into the “Likely Effect on Safety” category where serious injury, death, or severe damage may occur more often as a result of the violation conduct.

    When the operator fails to comply with ADS-B Out performance or broadcast requirements due to technical noncompliance, the violation is considered Severity Level 1. If the failure to comply with ADS-B Out performance or broadcast requirements has a possible effect on safety then the violation is Severity Level 2. And, not surprisingly, when the failure to comply with ADS-B Out performance or broadcast requirements has a likely effect on safety then it is a Severity Level 3 violation.

    The specific sanction will also depend upon the type of violator.  If the violation is by an individual certificate holder, the airman will likely be facing suspension of his or her certificates.  An individual acting as an airman or a business entity will face a monetary civil penalty. In the case of a business, the amount will vary depending upon the size and revenue of the entity.

    So, depending upon the circumstances, an individual certificate holder could face a suspension of his or her certificates for 20 -60 days, 60 -120 days, 90 -150 days, or 150 -270 days, depending upon whether the violation is in the low, medium, high, or maximum range, respectively. Other individuals and businesses could face civil penalties ranging from $100 to $34,174 per violation, depending upon the nature of the violator and how the FAA categorizes the violation.

    In the event of multiple violations arising from the same act or omission, the FAA may give special consideration if the violation was careless, as opposed to reckless/intentional violations which receive no special consideration.  For an individual certificate holder the suspension could be anywhere from 30 -90 days, 90 -150 days, or 120 -180 days, depending upon whether the violation is Severity Level 1, 2 or 3, respectively. And an individual acting as an airman could be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $5,000 -$10,000, $7,500 -$15,000, or $10,000 -$20,000, again depending upon whether the violation is Severity Level 1, 2, or 3, respectively.

    For other individuals, the civil penalty could range anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000.  And business violators could be assessed civil penalties ranging from $50,000 to $600,000 depending upon the nature and size of the business, as well as the Severity Level of the violation.


    Order 2150.3C provides the FAA inspectors and attorneys with a checklist for determining sanction in any given case involving an ADS-B violation.  Unfortunately, when a case gets to the point where the FAA is determining sanction, the actual calculations and method for arriving at the final assessed civil penalty is usually withheld.

    However, it is important to understand that the facts and circumstances involved in any given case have an impact on both how the sanction is calculated as well as the amount of the civil penalty assessed.  If you find yourself defending against an alleged violation of Rule Airspace, knowing this information can help you defend yourself and, hopefully, successfully resolve the matter.

    This article was originally published by Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP. on February 3, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Ongoing Privacy Concerns with Implementation of ADS-B see more

    NAFA member, Amanda Applegate, Partner with Aerlex Law Group, discusses ADS-B and privacy concerns.

    ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast. By January 1, 2020, the majority of aircraft operating within the United States will be required to have ADS-B Out capabilities – and for aircraft registered internationally, some compliance deadlines are even sooner. Aircraft lacking ADS-B Out capabilities after that date will be effectively grounded or severely limited in where and how they can fly – perhaps for months! 

    The ADS-B Out requirements are just one element of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), which is being implemented in phases between 2012 and 2025. The purpose of NextGen is to transform America’s antiquated air traffic control (ATC) system from a radar-based system to a satellite based system. 

    What is ADS-B Out? ADS-B is technology that uses an airplane’s onboard global positioning system (GPS) to transmit the current position, speed, flight number and, most importantly, whether the airplane is climbing, descending or turning. The current radar-based system is not able to recognize and process information regarding climb, descent or turns. The transmitted information is sent to ATC and other aircraft. The current radar system sends updates once every two to twelve seconds. However, aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out capabilities transmit data every second. So, not only do the transmitted updates contain more information, including data on climb, descent and turns, but the updates also take place far more frequently. 

    Upgrading the system on an aircraft to incorporate ADS-B Out capabilities allows both ATC and pilots of other aircraft with ADS-B In to see the aircraft nearest to them with a graphical representation. While Traffic Alert and Collison Avoidance Systems (TCAS) currently provide some of this information, the additional data generated by ADS-B Out will make the information far more accurate. 

    With ADS-B Out equipped aircraft broadcasting not just their flight plans but their current position, speed, and flight number, aircraft can be tracked much easier. While there are many advantages to ADS-B Out, using this newly available information means it is easier for the world to know who is flying where. 

    There are two important steps that can be taken in order to minimize the public disclosure of aircraft locations:

    1. Ownership structure. Using options such as a finance lease, owner trust or sole purpose entity to hold title could help preserve anonymity if structured properly. 

    2. Registration Number Blocking. In 2013 the FAA issued a notice that allows owners and operators to limit the display of aircraft situation display to industry (ASDI) data. Owners and operators can request the blocking of the flight tracking information. While this does not include data now available because of ADS-B, it can help. The process for opting out of this flight data feed can be found here: 

    While many associations, including National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) have been vocal about the privacy concerns linked to ADS-B data, a solution is not known or planned for the immediate future. As a result, planning and implementing a favorable ownership structure at the time an aircraft is purchased has become more important, as well as taking advantage of registration number blocking made available by the FAA.

    Please contact Amanda Applegate at 310-392-5200 or

    This article was originally published in BusinessAir Magazine, July 2019, Volume 29, No. 7., August 13, 2019. 

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    GAMA Publishes 2019 Second Quarter Aircraft Shipment Data see more

    NAFA member, Pete Bunce, General Aviation Manufacturers Association's (GAMA) President and CEO, releases Second Quarter Aircraft Shipment Report.

    Washington, DC — The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today published a mid-year industry update with the release of preliminary second quarter 2019 aircraft shipment and billings data. Piston and business jet deliveries increased through the first six months of 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018, while turboprop airplane and rotorcraft shipments were lower.

    “While the year-to-date aircraft shipments are mixed, this should not obscure the outlook for a bright future for general aviation. Our mid-year report shows new aircraft reaching entry into service milestones with additional models expected to enter into service before the end of 2019,” said GAMA’s President & CEO, Pete Bunce. “Our members remain focused on bringing safety enhancing new technology to the general aviation fleet and upgrading aircraft to meet fast approaching global mandates for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and datalink communications. Additionally, our industry’s continued emphasis on developing airframes, engines, and avionics that improve fuel efficiency, our aggressive pursuit of hybrid and electrically propelled air vehicles, and promotion of the build out of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel infrastructure, should make us all proud of our collective commitment to environmental sustainability.”

    The piston market continued to lead the increase in deliveries at 567 units, up 15.2% from the same period in 2018. Business jet shipments increased by 12.5% in the first six months of 2019 to 316 airplanes delivered. Turboprop airplanes, however, declined in deliveries from 260 to 231 units from the same reporting companies. The value of airplane deliveries through the first six months of 2019 was $9.0 billion, an increase of approximately 12.9%.

    Rotorcraft deliveries slowed in the first six months of 2019. Piston rotorcraft shipments declined from 149 units to 110 units. The industry delivered 299 turbine rotorcraft, a reduction by 11.3% compared to 2018. The value of rotorcraft shipments was $1.5 billion, a decline of approximately 13.1%.

    Note: Second quarter shipment data was not available from three airplane manufacturers at the time of publication. GAMA will update the report online when the data has been released by the companies. The above comparison table does not include second quarter 2018 data from these three manufacturers.

    This press release was originally published by GAMA on August 12, 2019.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    FAA Relaunches ADS-B Rebate see more

    NAFA member, AOPA, discusses the FAA's relaunching of the ADS-B Rebate.

    The FAA on Oct. 12 reopened the $500 rebate program to support Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipage. The program that had ended in September 2017 will now close Oct. 11, 2019. The agency is making $4.9 million available under the new rebate program, which will help to fund 9,792 new ADS-B Out installations.

    Beginning Jan. 2, 2020, aircraft flying in airspace where a transponder is necessary today will be required to be equipped with compliant ADS-B Out technology.

    In a statement provided to AOPA prior to release, FAA Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell said, “The ADS-B mandate is not going away. We are about 15 months from the January 1, 2020 deadline and now is the time for aircraft owners to equip.” 

    AOPA President Mark Baker said, “Pilots across America thank Acting Administrator Elwell for reopening the ADS-B out rebate that will make our skies safer and more efficient by incentivizing even more pilots to adopt the cutting-edge technology. This is the last opportunity for GA aircraft owners to take advantage of the FAA rebate in meeting the 2020 deadline.”

    The previous rebate program, which ran from Sept. 19, 2016, to Sept. 18, 2017, issued more than 10,000 rebate payments.

    Baker continued, “Over the past four years, AOPA has worked with the FAA and manufacturers through the Equip 2020 Working Group to develop lower cost solutions, especially for those flying legacy aircraft which often are not already equipped with a Wide Area Augmentation System GPS sensor, a necessary component for ADS-B Out. As a result of this collaboration, the cost of the equipment has dropped from more than $5,000 a few years ago to less than $2,000 today.”

    A number of avionics manufacturers have recently released lower cost products that meet compliance regulations The Appareo Stratus ESG and Garmin GTX 335 transponders are both $2,995 plus installation, and the Garmin GDL 82 universal access transceiver—which works in conjunction with an existing transponder—is $1,795 plus installation. uAvionix has promised lower cost products that replace aircraft navigation lights, including the skyBeacon, a UAT priced at $1,849 plus installation, which is eligible for installation on certified aircraft as well as experimental and light sport aircraft.

    As before, there are five steps aircraft owners should follow to meet the mandate and receive the $500 rebate. First, purchase the equipment and schedule installation. Second, get a Rebate Reservation Code by reserving a position online. Third, install the equipment. Fourth, conduct the required equipment performance validation flight and get an Incentive Code. Fifth, claim the $500 rebate online using the Rebate Reservation Code and Incentive Code.

    A number of aircraft owners have seen issues with the performance validation flight requirement of the original rebate program, and AOPA recommends a number of steps to minimize the odds of failing the validation flight.

    As with the earlier rebate program, the FAA reports that the new rebate program is available only to those who have not yet equipped their aircraft. Full rebate rules are available on the FAA website.

    To help determine which ADS-B products might be best for your aircraft, see the AOPA ADS-B Selection Tool online.

    This article was originally published by AOPA on October 12, 2018.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NextGen is on the way. What will happen to your lease or loan if you do not upgrade before Jan 2020 see more

    by Tony Kioussis with Asset Insight, Inc., and Dave Labrozzi with Global Jet Capital

    The mandate for NextGen upgrades is now just two years off, with absolutely no indication from the FAA that it will be extending the January 2020 deadlines.

    However, knowing what’s required, and when, doesn’t always translate into action. For those who’ve been procrastinating, the time to get your aircraft into compliance – whether you own or lease it – is right now.

    Future Air Navigation System (FANS1/A+) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) systems are the two key NextGen technologies necessary to keep your aircraft, and your business, flying.

    An understanding of the benefits of these upgrades to your business asset – and the consequences of noncompliance – may help you better appreciate the need for prompt action.

    FANS1/A+ technologies create a direct air-ground datalink, enabling digital transmissions of short messages between pilots and operators. The mandate has expanded to include more tracks and airspaces, the last of these on January 30, 2020.

    Without FANS1/A+ by this point, you won’t be making any transoceanic flights.

    ADS-B (Out) notably improves safety with increased situational awareness, automatically transmitting positional information, and providing more surveillance coverage. By January 1, 2020, should you plan to fly above 10,000 feet, in FAA-designated Class A, B, or C airspace, which includes nearly every large and mid-sized, and many smaller, U.S. airports, your aircraft must be equipped with ADS-B (Out) – or it will be grounded.

    While the ability to broadcast (out) is required, the ability to receive (in) is a value-added option. With the many benefits of ADS-B (In), including the traffic, weather, and aeronautical information obtained, most owners are choosing that option as well.

    In fact, sometimes it’s this type of option that leads business owners to lease, instead of buy, their aircraft. The ability to get the latest technology, make adjustments based on evolving business needs, and reduce the risk of investing significant capital or being tied to a title all make leasing worthwhile.

    However, whether you own or lease the aircraft, missing the upgrade deadlines will have an impact on where you fly, or if you do at all.

    While it’s clear what costs a non-compliant owner would accrue – increased expenses in the form of storage fees and calendar-based maintenance, loss of revenue or even opportunity, as well as the cost of securing charter or another form of alternate lift – a lessee faces additional issues.

    Consider, for example, an operating lease, one of the most commonly used tools to finance a costly aviation asset. In this arrangement, the lessor retains ownership, and with it, the residual value risk. The lessee, however, has full use of the aircraft for a specific term while fulfilling all lease, insurance, maintenance, and (almost always) operational obligations.

    These operational obligations include FAA regulations, in this case, the NextGen upgrade requirements. Failing to meet the deadlines is a violation of lease terms, and the lessor then can – and most assuredly will – call in the lease, including all payments due. This substantial cost is in addition to the previously-mentioned expenses associated with the grounded aircraft.

    If all this information is not sufficiently convincing, consider the supply and demand aspect of upgrading. As the deadlines draw ever near, the cost of components are increasing with demand. With a limited number of maintenance facilities capable of these installations, and the approximately 100 hours of work per aircraft it will take to complete them, the price for a slot also is likely to increase.

    A reverse bell curve highlights the trend: while early buyers may have paid more for the new technology, late buyers will pay more for demand. Waiting will only increase your costs and inconvenience, whether you own the aircraft or not. The benefits of FANS1/A+ and ADS-B are clear. And failure to meet the upgrade deadlines is really not an option.


    This article has been publish as it appeared in the January/February issue of Business Aviation Advisor