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Letter to Chairmen DeFazio and Larsen and Ranking Members Graves and Graves on ADS-B Out Equipage Rates

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The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology is a cornerstone of the Next Generation Air Transportation System and is intended to allow FAA to transition from ground-based radar to a satellite-based system for tracking aircraft and managing air traffic. FAA has mandated that aircraft operating in most controlled domestic airspace be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics by January 1, 2020. Citing concerns about whether operators would meet the 2020 deadline, Chairmen Shuster and LoBiondo of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its Aviation Subcommittee requested that we provide information regarding equipage rates for ADS-B and other technologies on commercial and general aviation aircraft. This letter provides the preliminary results on our ongoing audit work related to ADS-B Out equipage rates. Also enclosed with the letter is a briefing that we recently provided to the Chairmen and Ranking Members’ staff. We plan on completing our audit and issuing a final report this winter.