The investigation report of the October 2001 runway collision between a taxiing Citation CJ2 and a Scandinavian Airlines MD-87 taking off at the Linate Airport at Milan, Italy, is quite revealing.
The FAA placed production orders for 11 of Sensis’ airport surface detection equipment systems, Model X (ASDE-X). This requisition is in addition to the 21 initial systems ordered in December 2002. The production option for the 11 ASDE-X systems, in addition to associated hardware, software and support, is worth approximately $35 million.
The NTSB expressed disappointment last month over the FAA’s alleged foot-dragging on several safety recommendations, and the safety agency changed the classifications of the FAA’s responses from “acceptable” to “unacceptable.”
Three serious near collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year have prompted the NTSB to again press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such incidents. This issue has been on the Safety Board’s “most wanted” list since its inception in 1990.
Air traffic controllers at Canada’s Ottawa International Airport can now “see” traffic on the airport surface in the southwest area of the airport using a computer vision-based airport surface detection (ASD) system installed by Searidge Technologies. The Searidge system detects aircraft, vehicles, people and other objects using a network of digital-imaging sensors coupled to computer-vision technology.
While speakers at the Air Traffic Control Association’s annual convention in Washington in October discussed a wide range of ATC technologies, both current and future, several presentations touched on a common underlying theme: where will the money come from?
The FAA recently added new Safety Logic runway incursion alerting technology to its ASDE-X airport surveillance equipment at Orlando International Airport in Florida. ASDE-X combines radar scanning with a transponder tracking system to provide controllers with a real-time picture of airborne and airport surface traffic.
Airport surface detection equipment model X (ASDE-X), designed to help controllers spot potential runway collisions, will be installed at 15 airports beginning with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport next month.
The FAA is more than two years behind schedule for commissioning equipment designed to improve runway surveillance to reduce incursions. Congress wants to know why and what can be done about it and asked the DOT Inspector General to launch an audit into the matter. While the FAA has procured 36 out of 38 Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X (ASDE-X) systems, it has commissioned only three for operational use.
The FAA announced in August that it expects to award its ADS-B ground station contract (estimated to be for up to 500 ground stations) next July. The agency will use a “performance-based” contracting approach for the project, which will reportedly cost around $2 billion over its lifetime.