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I’m sure most of you have at least heard the term ADS-B, it stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, it is a new technology that allows air traffic controllers to see traffic using highly accurate GPS signals via your transponder. As a result, ADS-B works where radar often doesn’t, and because it can function at low altitudes and on the ground.  It can also be used to monitor traffic on airport taxiways and runways. Aircraft with certain equipment can also receive ADS-B traffic and subscription-free weather information in flight.

The mandate basically states that if you operate in airspace that currently requires a Mode C or Mode S transponder, you’ll need to be equipped with ADS-B “Out” by 2020. However, if you equip your aircraft with the “In” you can also receive highly accurate traffic information directly from other aircraft and ADS-B ground stations. They can also access graphical NEXRAD radar information, as well as METARs, TAFs and other subscription-free aviation weather information,  and the cost is not going to be much more than what it will take to just comply with the “Out” portion. If you only equip for ADS-B “Out,” you’re investing a lot of money without seeing any real benefit in the cockpit. I know everyone has questions on this topic and how it will apply to their specific aircraft, if you would like to learn more please visit www.garmin.com/adsb/, Garmin has provided this site and it includes a lot of helpful information that everyone can benefit from.


ADSB Diagram

How the ADS-B system works.