Alaska Pilots Get Tools For The Job: More ADS-B

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Mike Cirillo, the FAA's top official in Alaska, backs the installation of more Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) coverage in Alaska supported with two-way datalink systems and at a May 14 presentation, he said coverage would expand by the end of this year. Countering concerns that the system would not be further deployed, Cirillo said Fairbanks, Nome, Kotzebue and Anchorage would be home to four new ground-based transmission receivers before 2009. The ADS-B system is hailed as making flying more than 40 percent safer in areas of no radar coverage and high traffic and Cirillo's position was welcomed by local pilots. "This is huge. This is good news for Alaskan pilots," one pilot told Alaskajournal.com. Cirillo hopes acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell will make the trip to Alaska later this summer to see the region's challenges firsthand. Pilot groups concerned that new coverage would be held off until late 2009 now have reason to believe the system will soon grow beyond Southwest, Southeast and Anchorage bowl airspace.