The FAA has mandated that all aircraft flying in controlled airspace (basically airspace where a C-mode transponder is required) be equipped with at least ADS-B Out by January 1, 2020. ADS-B stands for Automated Dependent Surveillance Broadcast and is part of the NextGen Air Traffic system whose infrastructure is now largely in place across the U.S.
The mandate is not news. It was announced several years ago. However, only a few General Aviation or Commercial Aviation aircraft owners have complied with the mandate to date. The FAA estimates that there are still between 100,000 to 160,000 aircraft that have yet to installed ADS-B transponders.
As an incentive to comply, the FAA is offering a $500 rebate to aircraft owners who install within the next year. It is important to note that the rebate is not indefinite. The FAA will only be issuing 20,000 rebates in total. You have until September, 2017 to install an ABS-D Out transponder and request a rebate. The rebate offer will be in effect for one year or until all 20,000 rebates have been claimed. Therefore, time is of the essence.
You can view some of the latest ADS-B equipment on our Avionics Special Offers page.