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?
Next Generation Air Transportation System
While pilots agree that ADS-B is the next big thing for the National Airspace System, with FAA Administrator Marion Blakey describing it as the “FAA’s moon shot,” its implementation process has puzzled many. When Blakey last week launched the program with $80 million in FY 2007 funds, agency bureaucrats were still seeking go-ahead approval from the FAA’s top-level Joint Resources Council.
Automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) is poised to make the transition from promising technology to fundamental air traffic management tool, and the trials helping prepare the way are identifying many of the details that will need to be addressed.
Pennsylvania transportation officials have announced a plan to install automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations at four state airports.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) has appealed to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey to further collaborate with the industry to improve communications and weather information for flight operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Airservices Australia has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to avionics makers for as many as 1,500 ADS-B airborne systems for installation in the country’s general aviation fleet. The RFP, which includes system design, manufacture and installation, is part of the country’s long-term plan to transition to ADS-B technology as the primary means of surveillance in en route airspace.
The FAA’s Flight Technologies and Procedures Division will host its second annual New Technologies Implementation Workshop from November 29 to December 1 at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Va. The event will focus on innovations aimed at improving airspace efficiency and safety, according to the workshop program.
The FAA’s top-level Joint Resources Council (JRC) has called for the estimated cost of a nationwide, GPS-based, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) network, according to unofficial reports at a recent GNSS conference. ICAO has recognized ADS-B as offering major contributions to increased safety and airspace capacity, and such programs are already under way or planned in Europe, Australia and some Asian nations.
Like the flu and other nasty bugs, the user-fee virus is making its periodic appearance as Congress considers FAA reauthorization, up for renewal in 2007. This cycle’s strain, however, appears to be particularly virulent.
Pilots flying with ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) avionics are getting theopportunity to test the traffic and weather datalink service up and down the East Coast. A developmental version of the service is now availablethrough several ground stations positioned from Florida to New Jersey.