• (K. Lovell)
    (K. Lovell)

AOPA Australia has demanded full compensation for aircraft owners if CASA and Airservices continue with the ADS-B fitment mandate for aircraft in all classes of air space.

In a letter sent to CASA boss Mark Skidmore dated 25 August, AOPA president Mark De Stoop says the organisation will withdraw support because the original Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) has proven to be flawed, and the cost of fitting the equipment is much higher than stated.

"AOPA's position has always been to support new technology that improves safety," De Stoop says. "We believe that ADS-B in areas that previously had no radar coverage has the potential to improve safety in controlled air space.

"We provided this support, however, on the clear understanding from the CASA Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) and the Joint Consultation Paper (JCP) circulated at the beginning of the planned implementation that the financial impact to the GA community would be at very worst cost-neutral.

"We now find ourselves in the situation that the costs of the final developed policy are very substantial to our members."

In the initial RIS, it was estimated that ADS-B would stand to save general aviation $4.1 million in fuel costs every year, but last week Dick Smith presented figure to a Senate inquiry into Airservices Australia that put the cost position to GA at negative $62.2 million.

"We as an organisation took the financial assumptions stated in the RIS to be correct and hence we provided our support for the policy," De stoop said. "If these assumptions are in fact not correct then AOPA will withdraw its support.

"The fact that our members are indeed significantly cost disadvantaged, at the end of the policy formulation, suggests the RIS financial assumptions, or modelling, are indeed incorrect."

De Stoop goes on to call for CASA and Airservices Australia to adopt the US ADS-B policy where the Federal Aviation Administration will not mandate ADS-B for flights in Class E and G airspace below 10,000 feet.

"If CASA/ASA continue to mandate that all GA in the IFR category be fitted in all air space, that AOPA's position is, it will insist on behalf of its members, full financial compensation for costs incurred to aircraft owners as per the original Joint Consultation Paper and Regulatory Impact Statement."

CASA has mandated that all aircraft flying under Instrument Flight Rules be fitted with ADS-B Out equipment by February 2017.

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