ADS-B Upgrades Keep Canadian Operator Flying in the U.S.

Estimates indicate that up to 25% of eligible aircraft will fail to get their FAA-mandated ADS-B upgrades by the January 1, 2020 deadline, forcing them out of U.S. airspace. By coordinating with Honeywell’s service department, most avionics completion facilities can still be able to return upgraded aircraft in about two weeks.

One Quebec-based operator, with 85% of its flights going into the U.S., decided to upgrade early before a strain on the supply chain makes it harder to equip their aircraft. Working with its go-to avionics completion facility, Mid-Canada Mod Center (MCMC), the Canadian operator started upgrading its fleet of Learjet 45s in 2017.

“We’ve had no problems with our new ADS-B,” says Marc Mainville, the operator’s Director of Maintenance, who’s impressed with the reliability of the equipment and the dispatching. “The boxes modified by Honeywell are top-notch. If you do what they say and follow the service bulletins, you’ll never miss a flight due to a piece of Honeywell equipment.”

The Canadian operator’s decision to purchase a Honeywell Avionics Protection Plan (HAPP) has also proven to be extremely beneficial during the ADS-B upgrade process. Because any necessary service bulletin work was already pre-approved and covered free of charge, Mainville didn’t have to endure any scheduling delays or additional billing. “Everything just went in and came back out in two weeks, and that was it,” he says.

Looking back on the entire ADS-B process, Mainville says that he’s glad the bulk of  the upgrades are behind him. He knows that other operators will be forced to deal with delays and grounded aircraft if they wait too much longer to schedule their ADS-B equipment upgrades. “By doing our ADS-B upgrades early and working with Honeywell and our friends at Mid-Canada Mod Center, we now enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing we can fly freely, wherever our clients need to go.”

“ We didn’t want to delay the ADS-B upgrade. If left undone, it could seriously hinder our business and limit our flying to Canadian airspace.."   -Marc Mainville, Director of Maintenance