Sky-high ADS-B cost is the main reason why many pilots and aircraft owners are still not in compliance with the ADS-B Out 2020 federal mandate. With ADS-B Out being a required component of NextGen, many aircraft operators are searching for practical ways to negate the pricey ADS-B cost concerning hardware and installation. Avionics Maintenance Today has some tips that you may find beneficial and which might help you save considerable sums of money, improve your cockpit's look and functionality, and be in total compliance with the ADS-B Out rule.

ADS-B Cost Has Gone Down Significantly

The price of ADS-B technology has decreased while the quality of ADS-B technology has markedly improved over the years, and there have been many meetings between FAA top officials and General Aviation lobbyists, whereby measures have been imposed to help owners acquire less expensive hardware and be in NextGen compliance. One of the measures implemented is the accessibility of financing for ADS-B upgrades.

One of the largest initial funding sources for ADS-B upgrades was the NextGen GA Fund. This fund was created by the U.S. government with Nexa Capital Partners to help decrease the heavy burden of costs imposed on aircraft owners by the new law. The NextGen GA Fund has since been dismantled. Still, there are many low-interest loans for ADS-B Out 2020 upgrades. Let's now consider two of the best low-cost ADS-B upgrades on the market today.

Garmin GDL82

The Garmin GDL 82 is an inexpensive ADS-B solution that can get you in compliance with NextGen in a jiffy. The Garmin GDL82 has a basic installation package beginning under $2,000 and is ideal for airplane owners who plan to sell their aircraft or want to do the minimum upgrade required by law. Of course, there are more sophisticated and expensive packages available.

The Garmin GDL82 is a small universal access transceiver that broadcasts on 978 for aircraft operating below 18,000 feet. The Garmin GDL82 is also ideal for airplanes that don't already have a WAAS, because the GDL82 comes with an internal WAAS.

Installation is streamlined with the GDL82, which installs in line with the aircraft's existing transponder wiring and antenna. This ADS-B also utilizes Auto Spot technology which syncs transponder code with GDL82, so there's no need to install a delicate UAT control panel.

The Garmin GDL82 is compatible with all Mode C transponders on the market today, including all Garmin Mode C transponders and most third-party Mode C transponders.

UAvionix Sky Beacon

The uAvionix Sky Beacon is a decent alternative to the Garmin GDL82 as a low-cost ADS-B Out. The Sky Beacon model emphasizes simplicity. To install, hook up power and ground, and you're done. The Sky Beacon is an entirely self-contained ADS-B unit that includes a navigation light.

The Sky Beacon is the easiest ADS-B hardware to install and offers the lowest total cost of ownership. A unique feature of this model is that it mounts on the wingtip. Indeed, the Garmin GDL82 and the uAvionix Sky Beacon are great ADS-B cost-effective NextGen compliance solutions.