The FAA’s top-level Joint Resources Council (JRC) has called for the estimated cost of a nationwide, GPS-based, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) network, according to unofficial reports at a recent GNSS conference. ICAO has recognized ADS-B as offering major contributions to increased safety and airspace capacity, and such programs are already under way or planned in Europe, Australia and some Asian nations.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
With input from NBAA, the FAA has taken steps it hopes will reduce air traffic congestion between the Northeast and Florida. So-called “Snowbird” routes connecting general aviation airports and Florida destinations can become clogged by significant volume between November and March, and crippling ground stops have resulted. Key choke points were identified as the eliot Intersection, white Intersection and wavy Intersection.
“We use the standard slot system like everyone else,” said a NetJets official in response to an AIN inquiry about how the frax operator gets slots under the FAA’s Special Traffic Management Program (STMP). One pilot, when hearing of the response, asked, “What did you expect them to say? ‘We cheat and get all the reservations we want?’”
Honeywell is calling for greater cooperationbetween the U.S. and Europe as the two prepare for the deployment of future air traffic management (ATM) technologies. Warning that capacity in the skies over North America could become stretched to the limit without such cooperation, Honeywell also asked lawmakers in Washington to get serious about ATM funding soon.
Pilots flying with ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) avionics are getting theopportunity to test the traffic and weather datalink service up and down the East Coast. A developmental version of the service is now availablethrough several ground stations positioned from Florida to New Jersey.
The FAA recently concluded a study that compares the productivity and cost-effectiveness of select U.S. terminal ATC facilities in 2002 with those of similar private or quasi-government-operated non-U.S. facilities. On average, U.S.
The DOT Office of Inspector General plans to begin an audit of the FAA’s initiatives to address ATC staffing levels on September 7. For years, various groups have expressed concern that some ATC facilities are either under- or over-staffed. “However, determining the extent of those imbalances is problematic,” said the IG office, because staffing is affected by a number of issues.
A Government Accountability Office study of five foreign air navigation service providers, including Nav Canada, found that since “commercialization,” all have maintained safety, controlled costs and improved efficiency. All five have invested in new technologies that they say lowered costs by increasing controllers’ productivity and produced operating efficiencies, such as fewer or shorter delays.
Just two locations–Atlantic City, N.J., and Wichita–are in service to provide ground-based aircraft height monitoring to meet RVSM altitude-performance requirements. Cleveland and a yet-to-be-determined city in Arizona are slated to go into service “soon.” Roanoke, Va., and two cities in Canada are also behind schedule.
The FAA is expected to announce a major ILS contract award within the next 90 days, according to agency insiders. As currently written, the contract will call for the purchase and installation of as many as 615 instrument landing systems between 2007 and 2013. The large majority of systems will provide precision approaches at new locations while the balance will replace older equipment.