Alaska To Get Statewide ADS-B

 - July 3, 2007, 4:48 AM

There was good news for Alaskan pilots last month, when FAA Administrator Marion Blakey introduced the agency’s draft 2008-2012 Flight Plan, along with the NextGen Concept of Operations, to Congress. The Flight Plan will “expand the Capstone [ADS-B] program as part of the NAS through a phased approach starting with Bethel and Southeast Alaska, with the goal of statewide implementation.” Blakey emphasized, “Bottom line upfront: safety is our North Star,” pointing out that “ADS-B is the backbone of NextGen.” She added, “As Senator Stevens [R-Alaska] can tell you, with this in play, general aviation accidents are down in Alaska by 40 percent.” The Flight Plan’s number-two priority, after improving airline safety, is to reduce fatal general aviation accidents. The multi-part strategy to “accelerate implementing safety and air navigation improvement programs in Alaska” was keyed to full operational capability of WAAS and statewide expansion of ADS-B.