Capstone Being Made Part of ADS-B National Plan
The FAA says that the Alaska Capstone program of testing a host of advanced avionics (including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast–ADS-B) in small commercial aircraft will become part of the agency’s nationwide ADS-B implementation. Originally, Capstone was an FAA Alaska Region initiative and the proving ground for many avionics system innovations over the past six years, but some in Washington felt it was also awkwardly out of the agency’s mainstream. Former FAA Capstone personnel will remain in the region in “comparable” positions, the agency said, but one local pilot expressed concern that their expertise could be lost in any re-staffing moves. Capstone’s beneficiaries have been the many single-engine aircraft serving with exemplary safety the isolated communities in southern Alaska. Capstone’s next phase might now cover only the Anchorage-North Slope route, leaving large areas of the state not served. Unlike the Alaskan Capstone program, the FAA will not provide any free avionics this time around.