ADS-B Now Operational In Alaska

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The FAA declared Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to be fully operational in Alaska on May 31, and now it's working on the rest of the country. Following "extensive technical analysis," the agency determined that ADS-B is a far more accurate way to keep airplanes from banging into each other. "The evaluation found that over 96 percent of ADS-B data had at least 10 times better accuracy and integrity than the minimum required to support today's separation standards," the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization said Thursday. Of course, Alaska has a leg up on the rest of the country since it's been using government-funded ADS-B systems as part of the Capstone Project aimed at reducing the state's high crash rate. Many Alaska-based aircraft have had the required equipment installed at the government's expense, but this is unlikely to happen elsewhere and the system will likely be mandatory only in high-traffic areas until it's more widely installed by aircraft owners. ADS-B requires onboard equipment that broadcasts the altitude and position of aircraft so they can keep tabs on each other rather than relying on air traffic control and radar. However, all aircraft have to have the ADS-B gear before they can see and be seen using this new technology system.