Sensis is building on its experience of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) in the FAA-sponsored Capstone trials in Alaska and the increasing use of its multilateration technology with the development of a 1,090-MHz receiver that is under consideration for deployment on the U.S. East Coast and preparations to deploy a multilateration system at Juneau, Alaska.
Air traffic control
Growing numbers of smaller aircraft are compounding the problems air navigation service providers face, senior officials told the Jane’s conference at last month’s ATC Maastricht 2005.
The air-traffic community gathered in the Netherlands last month to discuss the continually evolving options for modernizing ATC. The process is both helped and hindered by technologies that don’t seem to stand still long enough for decisions to endure, but the participants are learning to keep up with this rapid pace of advancement and deal with the slowly gelling cultures of Europe’s main players.
By most accounts, the start of reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) standards in North America a little over a month ago was a relatively smooth transition, even for business aircraft operators who had opted not to gain approval before the January 20 implementation date.
General aviation was heartened somewhat last month when the federal government reopened the “DC-3” airports to limited “transient” traffic.
While Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has promised that the government will not stand in the way of innovative aviation ideas, at a January meeting of the Washington Aero Club he warned that “we need to start thinking creatively about long-term options for financing infrastructure.” He did not specify what those options might be.
Ten days before the January 20 Presidential inauguration, the FAA issued a six-page national security flight advisory describing airspace restrictions surrounding the event.
Although the FAA needs to hire 11,800 new controllers through Fiscal Year 2015 to replace retirees and other vacancies, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) noted the agency’s own FAA Administrator’s Fact Book (a quarterly publication) reports that the overall total number of controllers dropped from 14,227 at the end of FY2005 to 14,206 in FY2006.
The FAA’s Alaska Region this year will assess the suitability of a communications satellite system with an unusual history to supplement its Capstone automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) project.
When the idea was initially being explored a number of years ago, FAA planners saw a use for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) only in Alaska, where the technology would allow aircraft operating beyond the reach of radar to develop their own position data using onboard GPS equipment, and then transmit that data to others in the region through either a microwave satellite uplink and downlink or ground-based VHF network.