• Aviation House: CASA's headquarters in the Canberra suburb of Woden. (Bidgee)
    Aviation House: CASA's headquarters in the Canberra suburb of Woden. (Bidgee)

CASA Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore has sent a letter to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) saying it supports the costs in the original ADS-B regulatory impact statement (RIS).

The letter, dated 8 September, was sent in response to AOPA withdrawing their support for the ADS-B mandate because it believed the RIS costing was flawed and the real impact to general aviation would be much higher, and that general aviation should be compensated.

In CASA's reply to AOPA president Marc De Stoop, Skidmore said that an internal review found nothing amiss with the costings.

"The internal review considered that, generally, the original RIS assumptions are adequately sound in terms of current ADS-B costs with the exception of those costs used for the modifications to some integrated avionics systems under the aircraft Type Certificates – these had relatively higher costs than those contained in the RIS," Skidmore said.

"Rather than being cost neutral, the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) and related NPRMs did document that ADS-B implementation was not cost neutral to GA. At the time, following its development through industry, CASA and Airservices forums, the RIS was examined and approved by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

"The costs used in the RIS have been broadly reviewed within CASA. The review recalled that the RIS estimates were based on meeting the minimum mandate and noted that it is now common in GA installations to use equipment that combines multiple avionics functions in one box. The cost of the ADS-B component should be logically apportioned across the various communications, navigation and surveillance functions in the avionics box."

Skidmore did, however, acknowledge that the cost of fitting ADS-B has become more expensive due to commercial factors.

"The review noted that at the time of the RIS, the Australian and US currencies were on a 1:1 footing and in recent months the exchange rates have become less favourable. The review also noted the view expressed by some, including the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), that ADS-B equipage costs may well increase as the US and European mandates approach and global demand for the equipment stretches supply and installation capacity."

CASA has stated in the past that it has no intent of winding back the ADS-B mandate that will require all IFR aircraft to be fitted before February 2017.


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