The New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and the New York Tracon will be combined into one building under an FAA plan to integrate air traffic services in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
Area Control Center
When the high-altitude redesign (HAR) portion of the FAA’s national airspace redesign program begins initial implementation this year, it will signal the beginning of the end for dependence on station-to-station navigation between ground-based Vortacs and represent a first step toward Free Flight, the Holy Grail of 21st century airspace management.
Most corporate pilots know how TCAS operates and what it does, but fewer are familiar with ADS-B. ADS-B works via small onboard transmitter/receivers, which send out brief signal bursts that include the airplane’s identification, GPS position, altitude and current flight profile once per second. These bursts are picked up by all ADS-B-equipped aircraft within line-of-sight range.
Lockheed Martin delivered the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) equipment to the FAA on budget and ahead of schedule last month, meeting a major milestone in the agency’s Flight Plan for modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS).
The U.S. ATC central nervous system–known as the traffic-flow management system–has nearly outgrown its capacity, prompting the FAA to call for modernization of this critical infrastructure. The complex computer system is the heart of the National Airspace System Command Center in Herndon, Va., which continuously feeds traffic-flow information to ARTCCs, Tracons, towers, civil operators, military bases and other U.S.
Citing budget constraints, senior FAA management has apparently postponed the planned expansion of controller/pilot data link communications (CPDLC) trials beyond the present activity at the Miami ARTCC, AIN has learned. Industry sources report that the decision was based on the high costs of controller manpower.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a new technology initiative that will provide enhanced surveillance, and thereby improve access, to its many mountain airports. Currently, IFR flight operations at those locations are limited because surrounding mountains block the line-of-sight signals of the FAA’s ATC secondary (transponder interrogating) radars, preventing the monitoring of lower-level arriving and departing traffic.
Aircraft flying over the Arctic Ocean can take more direct routes, save fuel and maintain schedules with activation of the FAA’s final Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) system at the Alaska Air Route Traffic Control Center.
ATOP has already been deployed at the agency’s New York center and Oakland, Calif., center, providing air traffic service over the Atlantic and Pacific regions.
Eurocontrol has demonstrated the technical and operational benefits of a new ATC decision aid known as medium-term conflict detection (MTCD), which could also provide cost-efficiency and environmental benefits to boot.
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.