FAA publishes ADS-B policy

The Federal Aviation Administration has published a policy memorandum that provides guidance for the installation and airworthiness approval of Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) Out systems in aircraft. 

On Dec. 9, 2015, the FAA published the revision to AC 20-165 (AEA regulatory update), which contained a number of significant changes that set the foundation for this long-awaited March 2, 2016, revised policy memo.

Some Key elements of the memo:

After initial approval, can applicable ADS-B Out systems be installed on aircraft not covered by that approval?

Yes, ADS-B Out systems that have previously received FAA approval and meet all of the specific criteria of the memo may be installed and returned to service on other aircraft without further data approval.

Does installation of an ADS-B Out system require revision of the aircraft flight manual?

Yes, following installation of a compliant ADS-B Out system, the general section of the AFM must be revised as indicated in the memo. However, "Applicable AFM revisions do not require FAA approval."

The memorandum also points out that while using previously approved data, it is the installer's responsibility to ensure they have satisfied 14 CFR 91.403 (d) and have legal rights to the intellectual property of the data being used as a basis for the follow-on installation.

The Aircraft Electronics Association is pleased with the final release of the memorandum. While the FAA has chosen not to completely sunset the "special treatment" of ADS-B, it has produced criteria that will greatly enhance follow-on installation criteria while minimizing the administrative burden to the installer, and ultimately, the administrative costs to the end user.

The AEA encourages member companies to thoroughly read the memorandum as well as AC 20-165B. 

Click here to see the ADS-B policy memo.

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at ricp@aea.net or by phone at 202-589-1144.