ADS-B Cost Reality Check

What’s the difference between a jet engine and a pilot? That’s simple. At the end of the flight the jet engine stops whining.  Airline or GA, there seems to be no shortage of “whineable” issues.

ADF2Take, for example, ADS-B and the 2020 Mandate. The cost seems to be the biggest objection in the world of aircraft owners. Perhaps, we could put things in perspective by going back in time. In 1960, if you wanted to upgrade your old narco Super Homer ADF, and install a narco ADF-29, it would cost $895 + installation. That same ADF would cost you $7,100 in 2015 dollars.


In 1963, if you wanted to get rid of your coffee grinder radio and install a new, hip, narco Mark 12 radio with 360 channels, it would cost you $935 + installation. If you were on a budget, you could get a 90 channel model for $775. In 2015 dollars, the 360 channel radio would cost $7,200 and the cheaper 90 channel radio would $6,000.

Compare those costs now, to the avionics of 2015. You can be ADS-B complaint with a UAT with WAAS inside, (no need to have a Garmin GNS 430/530 or GTN 650/750). Garmin’s UAT costs $4,700 and NavWorx’s model costs $3,500.

You feel better now, don’t you?