The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $3.7 million civil penalty against a manufacturer of automatic depenendent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) units that the FAA says did not meet its requirements. The company, NavWorx, also is accused of misleading customers about the products.
“The FAA has strict requirements for navigation units to ensure the reliability of the information they provide both to pilots and to air traffic controllers,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Monday. “Customers of these products must be able to trust that their equipment meets our safety standards.”
The FAA noted that it told the aviation industry in March 2015 that it had changed the standards for the global positioning system (GPS) chips in ADS-B transmitters that aircraft owners are required to install before a Jan. 1, 2020, deadline.
“Rather than replace the chips in its ADS600-B units, NavWorx knowingly altered the units’ internal software to transmit a code that indicated the units met the new … standard, even though they did not,” the FAA said. “The FAA further alleges that the company subsequently refused to comply with the FAA’s direction to modify the software to transmit an accurate code.”
In subsequent statements on its website and in transactions with customers, the company said that its units met FAA standards, “even though they did not,” the FAA said. “These advertisements omitted and materially represented the essential fact that the units contain a GPS chip that is incapable of meeting the FAA’s standards.”
The FAA said it is working with NavWorx customers “to ensure the safety and accuracy of the affected products.”
A statement on the NavWorx website says its ADS-B “utilizes a GPS module from a third-party vendor” and that the vendor had said that the module met FAA standards. The statement says the company is “unable to sell the ADS600