Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) president Marc De Stoop has delivered a broadside to CASA over the regulator's support for ADS-B costings.
AOPA has been vocal over a potential $64 million cost to general aviation to comply with the February 2017 mandate to fit ADS-B to all IFR aircraft, demanding compensation to aircraft owners and criticising the costs used in the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS).
CASA Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore sent a letter to AOPA on 8 September saying they had conducted a review of the RIS on ADS-B and found the costs used to be "adequately sound."
In a responding letter dated 14 September, De Stoop challenged Skidmore's support for the RIS.
"You have justified the RIS financial assumptions by endorsements the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) and the Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet. With respect, industry question [sic] these organisations credibility to assess financial impact on GA.
"Can you release the assessment these Departments undertook to establish the accurate financial modelling assumptions in the RIS?"
AOPA also questioned the validity of the RIS review Skidmore alluded to in his 8 September letter.
"You say to the RIS that CASA has recently 'broadly reviewed' the policy. Can you release to the industry the results of this review? Can you also release to the industry the expertise and qualifications of the people or Companies involved in the original RIS financial analysis? To further support the roll out of ADSB industry needs the confidence that the financial modelling has been properly and professionally carried out."
The letter also outlined the lack of benefits ADS-B will bring to GA, given that Airservices Australia (ASA) controllers don't monitor movements in Class G airspace.
"AOPA's position is, mandating and forcing GA to fit the equipment to aircraft flying OCTA below 10,000 feet without mandating ASA to change their procedures to be able to see ADS-B fitted aircraft results in no increased safety benefits. The policy is flawed. You are putting the cart before the horse.
"In a 'user pays' environment, the blank cheque for installation will cost millions for no relevant benefit. Costs will also increase because of the ATC costs of gearing up to provide this 'service'. Every dollar of charge for every ground service draws from the flying budget which will have a substantial effect."
The mandate in Australia occurs three years before the US deadline of 2020, meaning US-made equipment sold into Australia is likely to be more expensive because no production efficiencies will be realised on such a small quantity. New Zealand has made its mandate 12 months after the US, which AOPA says it would like to see done for Australia as well.