FAA Accelerates NextGen Implementation

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FAA Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell said this week the agency will move forward rapidly to implement nationwide deployment of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) system. ADS-B, which will replace radar-based services with data disseminated via satellite, will reduce the risk of midair collisions and weather-related accidents, provide more efficient routes in adverse weather, and improve situational awareness for pilots, the agency said in a news release on Monday. "ADS-B is the backbone of the future of air traffic control," Sturgell said. "NextGen is real and, as of today, NextGen is now. President Bush just last week stated that modernizing our aviation system is an urgent challenge, and today's announcement demonstrates that the Department of Transportation and the FAA are taking concrete steps to do just that." The ADS-B system is now being installed in Florida. By 2013, it will be deployed nationwide, with 794 ground stations, the FAA said. ADS-B will provide services everywhere there is radar coverage today, and will also cover areas that currently lack radar service, including the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

Work at the sites of the next key milestones for ADS-B services — Juneau, Alaska; Louisville, Ky.; the Gulf of Mexico, and Philadelphia — is scheduled for completion by the end of 2010, the FAA said.