ADS-B Rebate The FAA’s General Aviation ADS-B Rebate Program Explained

by the FAA Surveillance and Broadcast Services Office

The FAA launched the ADS-B GA Rebate Program in September 2016 to encourage owners of less-expensive general aviation aircraft to equip with the new avionics required to meet the ADS-B Out mandate, and enjoy the safety benefits of ADS-B ahead of the 2020 deadline. The program will run for approximately one year, or until all 20,000 rebates are exhausted.

As of January 1, 2017, approximately 4,000 rebates have been reserved and the monthly equipage rates for rebate eligible aircraft have almost doubled.

The FAA estimates that as many as 160,000 general aviation aircraft will need to be equipped with ADS-B Out. In order to guarantee that general aviation aircraft that operate in rule airspace are equipped by January 1, 2020, approximately 23,000 aircraft would have needed to equip each year beginning in early 2013. This rate would have ensured a balance between the expected demand and the capacity of avionics installers.

The incentive program is working. As of January 1, 2017, approximately 4,000 rebates have been reserved, and the monthly equipage rates for rebate eligible aircraft have almost doubled.

The rebate program is also helping to reduce the percentage of ADS-B performance problems because it requires a validation step to ensure the avionics equipment is working properly. Since the validation step requires that the aircraft be flown in rule airspace, there is also an increased awareness of where rule airspace is.

Does the rebate program apply to you? Here are the details:

Rebate Program Rules

Eligible Aircraft

Eligible aircraft are defined as U.S.-registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft operated by an onboard pilot (no unmanned aircraft systems are eligible) first registered before January 1, 2016. New aircraft manufactured after this date are not eligible.


New ADS-B avionics that are certified to Technical Standard Orders and meet the rule requirements of 14 CFR section 91.227 (software upgrades of existing equipment are not eligible). Rebates are not available for aircraft already equipped with ADS-B Version 2, or for which the FAA has paid or committed to upgrade.

Where to Fly

To receive the rebate, eligible aircraft must be flown for at least 30 minutes in the airspace where, under 14 CFR section 91.225, ADS-B Out will be required after Jan. 1, 2020:

  • In Class A airspace
  • In and above all 30-nautical-mile Mode C veils surrounding Class B airspace
  • In and above Class B and C airspace
  • In Class E airspace at and above 10,000 feet MSL, excluding airspace at and below 2,500 feet AGL
  • At and above 3,000 feet MSL over the Gulf of Mexico from the U.S. coastline out to 12 nm.

Exception: In Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, a flight of an eligible aircraft above 10,000 feet MSL and within FAA ADS-B coverage will qualify as meeting the airspace requirements for the rebate program.

If you are eligible for this program, visit the Equip ADS-B website to research eligible equipment. To learn more about the ADS-B Rebate process here’s a step-by-step guide:

Decide on your equipment, arrange for purchase, and schedule installation of TSO-certified avionics. Review and validate the aircraft owner and aircraft-specific information in the FAA’s Civil Aircraft Registry (CAR). The FAA will determine rebate program eligibility using the information submitted in the CAR, and all rebates will be mailed to the aircraft owner recorded in the CAR.

Reserve your rebate. Before installation, an owner must submit a Rebate Reservation on the ADS-B Rebate website to obtain a rebate reservation code. Ownership information and aircraft eligibility will be checked against the Civil Aircraft Registry during this step.

Helpful Hint: The rebate system will only permit reservations to be made 90 days in advance of the installation date. Once your installation date is scheduled, set a reminder 90 days prior to reserve your rebate online!

Install TSO-certified ADS-B avionics in the eligible aircraft.

Fly & Validate your equipment. Within 60 days of the scheduled installation date, fly your aircraft in the rebate-rule-designated airspace for at least 30 minutes, with at least 10 aggregate minutes of maneuvering flight. After successfully completing this flight, request a Public ADS-B Performance report and General Aviation Incentive Requirements Status report to validate your equipment is working properly.

Helpful Hint: Research where rule airspace is near you to ensure you are flying a full 30 minutes within that airspace after your installation. The most common reason for a report failure is that pilots are not flying in rule airspace.

Claim your rebate! Upon successful validation of your equipment’s performance, you will receive an Incentive Code via email. Visit the ADS-B rebate website and enter your rebate reservation code and Incentive Code to claim the rebate. After the FAA validates the claim, a check is mailed to the owner.

If you are eligible for the ADS-B Rebate Program, now is the time to act. There is still time to equip and reserve your rebate before the program ends.

By participating in the ADS-B GA Incentive Program, you will be ready for the ADS-B mandate and truly able to experience NextGen now.

Rebate Program FAQs

What is required before registering for the rebate?

The rebate reservation form requires the make and model of the ADS-B equipment planned for installation as well as the scheduled installation date. The rebate reservation software checks for aircraft eligibility using data from the FAA Civil Aircraft Registry.

Where do I go to make a reservation?

The ADS-B Rebate Reservation System is available from the ADS-B Rebate Website:

Why is eligibility limited to TSO-certified equipment?

Since the rebate program is aimed at this segment of the GA community, only TSO-certified Version 2 equipment is eligible. The cost of TSO-certified equipment is typically higher than similar equipment that isn’t certified, making it less affordable for cost-sensitive customers. This program is geared to ensure full aircraft compliance to the rule which will ensure continuous access to the rule airspace in 2020. The FAA maintains a list of the eligible equipment at: This list is updated approximately monthly. However, avionics manufacturers will have the latest status of TSO certification for their ADS-B Version 2 systems.

Why aren’t software upgrades eligible for this program?

Software upgrades are typically much less expensive than new equipment. Since the rebate program is aimed at cost-sensitive owners who need to equip to meet the deadline, eligibility is limited to the purchase of new ADS-B equipment.

Does a certified installer or repair station have to do the installation to qualify for the rebate?

Aircraft owners who have a standard airworthiness aircraft (e.g. part 23, 25, 27, 29) may have the ADS-B equipment installed by a repair station or an appropriately-licensed A&P mechanic. Owners of aircraft certificated as Experimental or Light Sport must adhere to applicable regulations and established standards when installing ADS-B equipment.

Why is the FAA requiring that aircraft must be flown in the airspace defined in 14 CFR 91.225 for a minimum of 30 minutes?

This type of flight is essential to validate that the new avionics were installed properly and are rule compliant. Since the target audience is people who generally fly in the designated airspace, they won’t find it a hardship to perform the required validation flights.

After an aircraft owner successfully claims a rebate, how long will take to receive a rebate payment?

Assuming they have met the program rules, applicants can expect to receive a rebate payment in four to six weeks after the FAA has validated their rebate claim and authorized payment.

The FAA Surveillance and Broadcast Services (SBS) Office is responsible for implementing Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology into the National Airspace System (NAS).

This article was originally published in the March/April 2017 issue of FAA Safety Briefing magazine.
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FAA Safety Team

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