Avionics Report

November 2009 Issue

Garmin GTS 800 Traffic: TAS with Room to Grow

While we wouldn’t invest heavily in ADS-B yet, combining it into an active surveillance system makes sense—especially if you have the right transponder.

Around 1997, BF Goodrich’s Skywatch TAS brought high-performance, active traffic interrogation to light aircraft. It was an accurate and reliable system that remains in the L-3 Avionics Systems product line today. Honeywell also has a proven TAS system and Avidyne’s affordable TAS600, which started life as the Ryan 9900 series, has been a lively seller and good performer. Now Garmin has a fresh TAS system of its own with the GTS800-series. It’s available in three versions: The low-cost GTS800, mid-range GTS820 and flagship GTS850. The attention getter is the ability to display ADS-B traffic targets on screen. Is ADS-B an important functionality for future TAS systems? We think so. Avidyne has announced an ADS-B upgrade for their brisk-selling TAS-600. The Garmin GTS800-series system is currently undergoing certification and availability is expected by year’s end. It’s engineered for sizeable growth potential as the FAA finalizes its ADS-B mandate.

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