With the mandatory equipping of ADS-B OUT for aircraft flying in controlled European air space only two years away, Flying Colours Corp. has secured approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to install the tracking technology on Bombardier Challenger 300 airframes operating within its jurisdiction. The announcement, made just ahead of EBACE 2018, follows hard on the heels of gaining the same approval from Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and complements the existing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval issued in 2017. Flying Colours already holds supplemental type certificates for the installation of ADS-B Out equipment installation on Bombardier Challenger 600-2B16 (604 and 605), from the FAA, EASA and TCCA.
To date Flying Colours has installed more than 30 ADS-B Out solutions on a variety of aircraft types, including 20 Challenger 604s in its home territory of North America. It has prepared for the uptick in installation demand by investing in additional equipment, inventory and team members to boost its ADS-B Out installations by approximately 30%. The business currently has capacity for seven to ten installations per month across its two North American facilities with the St. Louis, KSUS facility operating 24/7 shifts to meet the demand. As a Bombardier Authorized Service Facility, the business has extensive maintenance experience on the Challenger 300 model and is well positioned to offer efficient, cost effective flight deck and cabin upgrades on the model.
Flying Colours has already received inquiries from European owners sourcing major flight deck and cabin upgrades. “We want to try and future proof the aircraft by giving owners the best advice in terms of avionics upgrades. For some European customers it is more attractive, and often more cost efficient, to bring their aircraft to our facilities to have maintenance, installation and interior upgrades all conducted under a single roof,” explains Flying Colours director of Sales Kevin Kliethermes. “This latest approval will help us support existing clients in their move towards NextGen capabilities, and hopefully attract new ones as the installation slots become rapidly booked up.” The European mandate will come into force just six months after the North American obligation.
Flying Colours has also seen extensive growth in the company’s avionics business overall with the team working on more than 30 different avionics projects in the last year. It has fitted the Pro Line 21™ Advanced package, Ku-band, Ka-band installations, and GoGo’s latest AVANCE L3 and L5 systems, as well as outfitting the first Canadian registered aircraft with the Rockwell Collins network’s Future Airspace Navigation System (FANS) 1/A upgrade, installed in combination with the ADS-B solution. “Our avionics business is growing, and as we add more approvals to the business, this will support continued development in this area” says Kliethermes.