You wake up in the morning (or afternoon) on January 1st, 2020, wash the prior evening’s festivities from your eyes, and while staring into the mirror you realize that your aircraft has missed the FAA’s mandate to have ADS-B Out installed. After a quick Google search reveals that the FAA has not pushed back the mandate’s date, you probably say a few choice words and then think, “Now what?”

The FAA states that aircraft wanting to operate within mandated airspace that are not ADS-B Out equipped can request a deviation at least one hour prior to operation. To do so, an aircraft operator must contact the ATC facility that has jurisdiction of the airspace that is to be flown. Requests cannot be made by phone or during flight (unless your ADS-B fails during flight) and ATC has the authority to deny any and all requests. If you are approved for a deviation, typically it will be for a one-time use.

“While ATC will consider requests from scheduled operators, it is very unlikely to issue an authorization to a scheduled operator on more than an occasional basis.”

If you operate in a capacity-constrained airport’s airspace, airports that are operating at 85% capacity or greater, you will almost assuredly be denied a deviation.  Those airports include:  BOS, CLT, ORD, DFW, ATL, JFK, LGA, LAX, LAS, PHL, DCA, SAN, SFO and SEA.  The FAA strongly encourages these operators to equip prior to January 1, 2020.

Even though the FAA is going to allow deviations to operate in ADS-B Out airspace, it doesn’t sound like they’re going to make it easy for those operators to do so – their sole objective is to have 100% compliance.  Aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out will have priority and deviations will only be approved when controllers have time and operators are not adversely impacted.

Is your aircraft still not ADS-B compliant?  Do you know the equipment your aircraft requires and the costs involved?  Finding out is quick, easy and free: