Buying a Jet in 2019? Questions to Ask Your Broker


With some markets swinging into sellers’ territory and with avionics mandates looming imminently, Jet Tolbert offers thoughts on what a business jet buyer should be asking their broker in 2019.

There are some important questions all aircraft buyers should seek clarification on prior to buying a business jet or turboprop in 2019. With upcoming aviation mandates, some of the key questions buyers should ask their brokers center on ADS-B compliance.

Following are the top three questions I believe will help those who are shopping the market for a business jet to avoid making a purchase they’ll end up regretting…

1) Does the aircraft have ADS-B? If not, has the seller arranged a slot for an ADS-B installation?

Buyers of business aircraft need to know about the details of a prospective aircraft’s compliance, not just whether the airplane conforms to the ADS-B mandate. It’s important for the buyer to be as well-informed as possible, asking their broker first.

With the deadline for ADS-B compliance less than a year away and many aircraft yet to be upgraded, one of the big questions within the industry is how many airplanes will be grounded when the deadline passes on January 1, 2020.

Every buyer shopping today’s used jet and turboprop marketplace needs to be thoroughly aware of the circumstances surrounding an aircraft of interest with respect to its ADS-B compliance. If it does not already have ADS-B installed, the buyer should at the very least discount the aircraft’s value, based on the cost of the most feasible and user-friendly ADS-B solution for that make/model.

Moreover, buyers should seek to arrange for the necessary upgrade to be accomplished at the time of purchase.

If the aircraft of interest does have ADS-B installed, it’s worth finding out whether the upgrade was accomplished using an aftermarket installation with add-on or ‘stand-alone’ equipment in order to meet the requirement?

Alternatively, it may have been accomplished with a factory installation, utilizing upgrades to the factory-equipped avionics suite and providing a baseline upgrade for future enhancements and updates. Though not always the case, this option may be costlier to perform upfront, but may well prove favorable in the long-term.

Buyers may find that sellers are opting for the cheapest solution, covering the necessary bases to promote their aircraft as being compliant with the ADS-B mandate. It is the responsibility of the buyer to work with their broker to establish the facts.

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