FAA to Pilots: Be Ready for ADS-B by 2020

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The FAA said on Tuesday it wants all aircraft flying in controlled airspace to have satellite-based avionics by 2020, so air traffic controllers can track them using Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B). The agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) that says the equipment will allow controllers to handle more traffic more safely with less separation. "Aviation must take the big step into the next generation of technology," said Acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell. "It's safer and more accurate. Satellite technology is here to stay." Pilots with ADS-B cockpit displays can see, in real time, their location in relation to other aircraft, bad weather and terrain. In Southwest Alaska, the fatal accident rate for ADS-B-equipped aircraft has dropped by 47 percent, the FAA said. Aircraft that don't fly in controlled airspace will not be required to have ADS-B avionics, the FAA said.

Under a contract awarded to ITT Corp. last month, ground stations for the new system will be brought on line across the country, starting in the East Coast, portions of the Midwest, Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Nationwide coverage is expected by 2013. The proposed rule is open to public comment for 90 days, and is scheduled to become final by late 2009. The FAA demonstrated the ADS-B system at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this summer, click here for the AVweb report and exclusive AVweb video.

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