Pilots of properly equipped aircraft flying through the Philadelphia area can get a glimpse of the future of flight now that ADS-B service has been switched on there. The FAA activated the system on Feb. 26 but didn't announce it until Tuesday. Aircraft with a universal access transceiver can display weather and aeronautical information on their cockpit displays, as well as traffic advisories. Those with a 1090 MHz Extended Squitter (1090 ES) can only get the traffic. The FAA is warning that the information available is advisory only and not a substitute for official sources of weather and NOTAMs or looking out the window.
Like any new and complex system, there are bound to be bugs and the FAA is hoping pilots will pay special attention to the functionality of the system and report any problems. ADS-B is the foundation technology of the NextGen airspace modernization program.