Alaska ADS-B Returning to ATC Radar Scopes

 - November 17, 2006, 5:19 AM

ADS-B-equipped aircraft will be back on ATC radar screens in Alaska after an absence of several weeks. On March 24, following “misapplication” of separation standards by the Anchorage ARTCC, FAA officials in Washington ordered ADS-B aircraft returns removed from ATC displays. Apparently, ever since the Capstone program started in 2000, separation standards between ADS-B and non-ADS-B targets were never defined, although safety was always maintained. Local pilots were unimpressed by Washington’s removal of ADS-B returns. Said one: “A typical knee-jerk reaction–now controllers can’t see us at all.” By late May, with ADS-B still off the scopes, a frustrated Alaska Aviation Coordination Council announced a June 2 press briefing to underline its safety concerns. Washington officials, reportedly spurred by an irritated FAA Administrator who had glowingly launched the nationwide ADS-B program in early April, quickly informed the council that ADS-B would promptly reappear on ARTCC radar, and issued an announcement on June 2, citing conventional procedural separation standards.