Why is there a NextGen GA Fund?
The NextGen GA Fund is being established to support the rollout of the U.S. “NextGen” program, which enables updated air traffic information to both pilots and controllers. There are more than 150,000 general aviation aircraft requiring access to controlled airspace, and NextGen cannot provide its promised benefits to the air traffic system unless these aircraft are participating with updated technology. Given this imperative, the Department of Transportation has been authorized by Congress to provide federal loan guarantee support of avionics equipage to address the needs of the general aviation community. The NextGen GA Fund is working exclusively on behalf of the GA community to enable these NextGen upgrades through financial incentives, including affordable loans and other assistance.
When is the financing available?
The NextGen GA Fund is currently awaiting FAA and DOT final approval to issue federal loan guarantees under the program, which is expected at some point in 2014. Application for the federal loan guarantees was made to the FAA and DOT in March 2013, and in June 2014 Congress reminded FAA of the urgency and importance of this program to the GA community.
How will we hear about financing availability?
Please monitor the web portal on the Aircraft Electronics Association website www.aea.net/ads-b/ for continuous updates. Sign up here for program updates.
Who is eligible for the NextGen GA Fund?
Any aircraft owner is eligible for financing U.S.-registered piston, turbine and experimental aircraft. This includes all ages of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft for both personal and business use (Part 21.191, Part 23 and Part 27, Part 91 and Part 135).
What type of equipment qualifies for the NextGen GA Fund?
As expected, “NextGen” equipment is for surveillance, communications and navigation. In other words, financing would be available for ADS-B (Out/In), RNP/RNAV, GPS WAAS and data communications equipment. If other safety enhancements are made at the same time the NextGen upgrades are being completed, such as new radios, these can be requested.
Does the program cover the entire installation cost or is this just for equipment?
Yes, the NextGen GA Fund intends to finance both equipment, related electrical systems, and upfront installation/certification costs under a single agreement. This would include antennas and modifications to instrument panels if glass displays are to be used supporting ADS-B In. Certification costs related to the new NextGen mandates are also eligible for funding.
How will someone apply for NextGen GA financing? How long does it take to get approval and funding?
It is recommended that aircraft owners work with their FBOs, avionics repair stations to identify whether equipment qualifies for financing support from the NextGen GA Fund. The application process is not unlike other financing programs, with online applications needing information comparable to requirements for any other loans. Prequalification for financing can occur in as little as several hours and usually within one day. Depending on the application, funds may be available in as little as two to three days. All applications are held in strict confidence, and such information is never shared with third parties, or with governments.
How will the process work?
The NextGen GA Fund financing begins at the point of sale and/or installation. Once an aircraft owner has selected and negotiated a qualifying avionics package and associated installation/certification from an FAA-certified repair station, the specifications will need to be included in the online application along with other important information about the aircraft and the applicant. Once approved, funds are released to the avionics repair station to proceed, similar to current payment structures used today.
Is there an income requirement to obtain these funds?
There is no income requirement, although the NextGen GA Fund will apply commercially accepted consumer lending standards to determine the suitability of the applicant.
Is there a dollar limit? How about interest rate and repayment terms?
The objective of the NextGen GA fund is to accelerate NextGen benefits for both operators and the national airspace system. There is no set dollar limit on the size of a financing or the number of aircraft financed by a single owner. Interest rates and repayment terms will, of course, vary by applicant but will be highly competitive with other financing options available today (e.g., consumer or business loans). Please contact your FBO or repair station directly for specific estimates to upgrade your aircraft.
Will I have a lien placed on my aircraft?
In the vast majority of all applications, the answer is NO.
Why are avionics manufacturers entering into agreements with the NextGen GA Fund?
Avionics manufacturer MOUs (memoranda of understanding) address the desire of key avionics suppliers and the NextGen GA Fund to work together to accelerate the roll-out of NextGen for the general aviation community by providing affordable, innovative avionics along with access to financial incentives to aid aircraft owners with their upgrade decisions.
Is the NextGen GA Fund playing any role other than financial incentives?
Who owns and manages the NextGen GA Fund?
Yes. The NextGen GA Fund is becoming an important advocate for the general aviation community. For example, the Fund will stimulate equipage beginning in 2014, will drive strategic supply chain innovation to increase competition and product choices, thereby delivering the right features at lower costs to GA users.
The GA Fund is owned by NEXA Capital Partners and by some of the U.S.’s largest aerospace companies, whose direct investments have enabled use of low-interest commercial loans backed by U.S. government loan guarantees. The GA Fund is managed day to day by the NEXA General Partnership and Management Company, and by NEXA Capital Partners. You can learn more about NEXA by going to www.nexacapital.com