FAA begins to roll out air traffic control system
By Gautham Nagesh email@example.com
November 24, 2008
After years of development and testing, the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Monday that it plans to begin deploying a nationwide air traffic control system that tracks aircraft by satellite rather than radar.
Urged by an executive order issued by President Bush last week, the switch from testing to roll out of the new technology marks the first step in the agency's ambitious program to overhaul the nation's air traffic control system. FAA claims the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system reduces the risk of mid-air collisions and weather-related accidents by giving pilots in the sky access to the same satellite and weather information that air traffic controllers view from their seats in towers.
"The next generation of air travel has arrived," said FAA acting Administrator Robert Sturgell in a release sent out on Monday. "ADS-B is the backbone of future air traffic control."
"Today's decision is the green light for nationwide deployment of ADS-B," said FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto. "This is the first step in making NextGen a reality."
FAA plans to deploy all ground stations by 2013. By then, the agency will provide satellite coverage in all areas where radar exists -- and in some places where no coverage is available, including the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, Takemoto said.http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1108/112408n1.htm