FreeFlight Systems Testifies on NextGen Equipage Mandate Before U.S. House Small Business Committee
Washington, DC— Tim Taylor, President and CEO of FreeFlight Systems, Inc., testified today before the U.S. House Small Business Committee at a hearing to examine the FAA's mandate to equip general aviation aircraft with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) Out capability for NextGen by 2020. Taylor testified on behalf of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Located in Waco, Texas, FreeFlight Systems was founded in 2001 and employs 53 people. It designs, manufactures, and supports avionics that enable aircraft operators to meet the FAA's January 1, 2020 requirement for ADS-B capability, which is the backbone of the NextGen air transportation system. The FAA announced the equipage mandate in 2010.
"Government and industry have worked in harmony to ensure that equipment is available at the right price and at the right time to provide immediate and long-term benefits to those who equip today," Taylor told the Committee, which is chaired by U.S. Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO).
FreeFlight Systems has developed ADS-B solutions that are available, affordable, and easy to install for operators, with ADS-B equipment for a light general aviation aircraft costing less than $4,000, Taylor said. The company has delivered about 1,000 ADS-B radios and approximately 3,000 ADS-B position sources to date.
Taylor encouraged the committee to steadfastly maintain the long-standing NextGen deployment schedule, adding that the mandate is necessary, achievable, and communicates the nation's continued commitment to flying safety, economic growth, and leadership in global aviation.
There are 120,000 to 140,000 general aviation aircraft operating in the United States that are required to meet the 2020 rule, Taylor said. He noted that avionics manufacturers have the capability to help all operators meet this deadline. Taylor also encouraged the FAA to show strong leadership in this area and aggressively consider other incentives to encourage operators to equip.
GAMA is an international trade association representing over 80 of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation airplanes and rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components and related services. GAMA's members also operate repair stations, fixed based operations, pilot and maintenance training facilities and manage fleets of aircraft.
For more information, visit GAMA's website at www.GAMA.aero.