FAA Approves ADS-B Deployment
FAA brass have approved nationwide deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast as the cornerstone of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The agency’s Joint Resources Council (JRC), which reviews major acquisitions, believes full implementation of ADS-B will give pilots the in-cockpit information they need to play a role in maintaining separation from other traffic and that, combined with the more accurate position data available to controllers, will, theoretically at least, allow more airplanes in the same amount of airspace. "With real-time situational awareness in the cockpit, aircraft will be able to fly closer together, resulting in a significant increase in airspace capacity," the FAA says. The JRC decision sets in motion the second phase of the NGATS deployment and covers the years from 2009 to 2014. In addition to installing the system in the Lower 48, it guarantees that the Capstone Program will continue in Alaska. Capstone also uses ADS-B as part of a suite of avionics aimed at reducing accident rates. The accident rate has fallen but not because of separation issues, which aren't much of a problem in the sparsely populated areas. The GPS and synthetic vision systems that go along with them are credited with most of the accident-rate reduction.