Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has been granted a supplemental type certificate (STC) to install ADS-B equipment on the Airbus A320ceo family and will begin work for its first customer, Wizz Air.
"With more than 800 customers, Lufthansa Technik has extensive experience in avionics engineering services and has already done many flight deck modifications in the past," Alexander Krause, product sales manager-avionics modifications, tells MRO-Network.com. "The upcoming demand from our customers all around the world has led to the idea of a certified product."
Wizz Air operates 87 A320-family aircraft, according to Aviation Week's Commercial Fleet & MRO database.
LHT plans to pursue similar STCs for other aircraft as key ADS-B equipage deadlines approach. While its focus is likely to be on aircraft flown by Lufthansa Group operators, including the Airbus A330 and A340 and Boeing 747 and 777, third-party demand will help drive development.
"We are offering STC development services for many more aircraft in order to be able to also take care of the needs of our external customers," Krause says.
While equipage deadlines vary, many countries and regions have put ADS-B mandates in place. Operators in Europe face a June 7, 2020, deadline to have ADS-B retrofitted. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) required ADS-B capability on newly delivered aircraft starting in January 2015. In the U.S. FAA's deadline is January 1, 2020. Australia has ADS-B in place, and foreign operators have until June 6, 2020, to equip. Other places where the capability is, or soon will be, required in at least some airspace include Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, and Taiwan.
"The significant global demand for ADS-B modifications is already resulting in capacity problems at many overhaul facilities," LHT says. While LHT is offering the upgrades in its hangars, it says it has mobile teams that can "work anywhere in the world." A typical installation can be done during three overnight visits.
ADS-B compliance rates are said to be lagging across all aircraft types, particularly in the U.S.
FAA data shows that about 1,500 of some 7,000 U.S. air transport aircraft had been equipped as of Nov. 1.