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SiriusXM or ADS-B

What does this mean for your flight?

Whether you fly a light sport, rotor wing, jet, single engine piston, or anything in between, you have a choice when it comes to your inflight weather. The 2020 ADS-B mandate does not require you to use ADS-B/FIS-B weather, you are free to choose SiriusXM, ADS-B/FIS-B, or both.

There are differences between ADS-B and SiriusXM Aviation Weather that may directly impact your flight.

Here we break down the differences between the two weather services at each stage of flight to help you decide which service is right for you.


SiriusXM Aviation Weather is a satellite-delivered service available at any altitude, during taxi and when parked on the ramp.

ADS-B/FIS-B is a ground-based weather service. Its availability varies based on your altitude and location in the U.S. and is only available on the ground in the immediate vicinity of certain airports.

Changing Terrain

SiriusXM Aviation Weather is a satellite-delivered service with no line-of-sight restrictions.

ADS-B/FIS-B is ground-based so it has line-of-sight restrictions.


SiriusXM has both Cloud-to-Cloud and Cloud-to-Ground Lightning updating every 2.5 minutes.

ADS-B/FIS-B only has Cloud-to-Ground Lightning, updating every 5 minutes.


SiriusXM Aviation Weather has consistent coast-to-coast high-resolution Composite Radar (2km res) updating every 2.5 minutes. Plus, Storm Tracks and Echo Tops allow you to monitor the speed, direction, and tops of the most significant areas of weather.

ADS-B/FIS-B weather does not offer Storm Tracks or Echo Tops, and its Composite Radar availability depends on the altitude at which you are flying and whether you are viewing Regional Radar (2.5km res) updating every 5 minutes or CONUS (10km res) updating every 15 minutes.

Weather Data

Every SiriusXM Aviation Weather product, including METARs, TAFs, AIRMET/SIGMETs, and PIREPs, are available across the country from takeoff to landing.

ADS-B/FIS-B weather information is limited based on altitude and location.

Base Reflectivity Radar

SiriusXM Aviation Weather has consistent coast-to-coast high-resolution Base Reflectivity Radar updating every 5 minutes.

ADS-B/FIS-B does not offer base reflectivity radar.


SiriusXM plans start as low as $29.99 per month. You have the option to suspend service for up to 6 months, once per year, at no additional cost.

ADS-B/FIS-B is provided at no cost, but comes with many significant limitations.