Agency Wants 794 Ground Stations By 2013
In a step the agency says will
improve the efficiency of air transportation for millions of
Americans, FAA Acting Administrator Robert A. Sturgell gave the
green light Monday to nationwide deployment of a system that allows
aircraft to be tracked by satellite rather than radar.
Touted by the FAA for years, Automatic Dependent
Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) will reduce the risk of midair
collisions and weather-related accidents, according to the agency,
and will provide more efficient routes in adverse weather, and
improve situational awareness for pilots
"The next generation of air travel has arrived," Sturgell said.
"ADS-B is the backbone of the future of air traffic control.
NextGen is real and, as of today, NextGen is now. President Bush
just last week stated that modernizing our aviation system is an
urgent challenge, and today’s announcement demonstrates that
the Department of Transportation and the FAA are taking concrete
steps to do just that."
An executive order signed by President Bush on November 18
accelerated the implementation of NextGen, stating that it is the
policy of the United States to establish and maintain an air
transport system that meets the present and future needs of this
Sturgell's commissioning of essential services for ADS-B in
Florida clears the way for nationwide deployment of the system by
2013. The installation of 11 ground stations in Florida gives
pilots viewing ADS-B cockpit displays the same live traffic seen by
controllers. Pilots also receive free, real-time weather updates
from the National Weather Service, as well as critical flight
information such as temporary flight restrictions and special-use
airspace. These advances, in turn, will allow the United States to
accommodate the increasing number of aircraft in the nation’s
skies, and will help to make the travel experience for airline
passengers more efficient, safer and environmentally friendly.
The commissioning marks a significant milestone in the FAA's
deployment schedule for ADS-B. By 2013, 794 ground stations will
provide ADS-B services everywhere there is radar coverage today --
with further coverage in places that currently lack radar coverage,
including the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
Work at the sites of the next key milestones for ADS-B services
-- Juneau, AK, Louisville, KY, the Gulf of Mexico and Philadelphia
-- are scheduled for completion by the end of 2010. This will allow
controllers to begin using ADS-B for aircraft surveillance or