When the idea was initially being explored a number of years ago, FAA planners saw a use for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) only in Alaska, where the technology would allow aircraft operating beyond the reach of radar to develop their own position data using onboard GPS equipment, and then transmit that data to others in the region through either a microwave satellite uplink and downlink or ground-based VHF network.
Air traffic control
Southern Star Avionics has completed required flight testing for Cessna Citation 560 and S550 airframes and expects to receive RVSM group certification for the types early next month. The $95,000 installation kits use IS&S digital altimeters with integrated air-data computers and analog interface units. The company said the upgrade is available for both single and dual flight director aircraft equipped with Sperry SPZ-500 autopilots.
The FAA has certified the CMS-1000 communication management system from Pentar Avionics. The panel-mount unit provides digital and analog input and output, ACARS processing, an optional internal VDL Mode 2 (VHF datalink) radio and optional GPS sensor.
Jeppesen has undertaken an ambitious yearlong effort to survey taxiways and ramp areas at high-use airports throughout the world. Using GPS surveying equipment, Jeppesen engineers plan to establish precise reference points on airports and compare them with digitized satellite imagery.
“The job of a controller is no longer just separating airplanes,” National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr told attendees at a symposium on “Post 9/11 Security Impacts on Air Traffic Control and Aviation” in Washington, D.C., in late January. “They have to be aware of possibilities that we did not even contemplate on the morning of September 10.”
NBAA’s prophecy is coming true. The FAA published a “show cause” notice to extend the flight-reduction program through October 31 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The program went into effect on November 1, originally with an expiration date of April 30.
Europe’s ambitious program to introduce mode-S surveillance datalink technology has once again been rescheduled to account for operational and technical difficulties. On January 13, Eurocontrol announced a “rationalization” of the implementation timetable for mode-S elementary (ELS, known in North America as “upgraded mode-S”) and enhanced (EHS) surveillance for IFR flights in general air traffic (IFR/GAT).
Last month, FAA COO Russell Chew told a standing-room-only audience at the annual conference of the U.S. Air Traffic Control Association that a widening gap between the falling income and rising expenses of the agency’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) could reach a cumulative $8.2 billion over the next five years and he said the FAA must take positive actions to close this gap.
Last year, the Bush Administration unveiled its proposed “next generation air transportation system” and then cut the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) budget request by nearly $400 million.
In the January 6 incident in which a Gulfstream III landed on a taxiway between the two parallel runways at Denver Centennial Airport, notam 01-17 advised that the parallel runway the jet was switched to land on just 1.5 miles out (Runway 17R) was mostly covered with snow. The taxiway, the same length as Runway 17R, had mostly pavement showing.