The FAA announced on Tuesday that the ADS-B network in the U.S. has been completed, with all 634 ground stations now online. “This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides air traffic controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced the completion of the ground-radio infrastructure for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), the surveillance piece of its NextGen ATC modernization effort. Of 230 ATC facilities nationwide, 100 already track aircraft by ADS-B, the agency said in an April 14 announcement.
Rockwell Collins announced an upgrade path for Fans 1/A capability in Dassault Falcon 50EXs, 2000s and 2000EXs with Collins avionics and flight management system. The enhancements, which will be available from Rockwell Collins next year, include automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC).
Despite the news that air traffic surveillance group Aireon now has most of the key elements in place to create a functioning ADS-B system, the FAA has still not committed to the project for updating its oceanic air traffic management operations. And according to libertarian think-tank The Reason Foundation, the U.S. government might not view this important commitment as a priority.
The Jan. 1, 2020, mandate for installation of ADS-B Out equipment in U.S.-registered aircraft was a hot topic last week at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Nashville, Tenn. FAA officials noted that of the estimated 157,000 aircraft that need the upgrade, fewer than 3,500 had undergone the work as of March 11.
The FAA future flight technologies branch approved Air Crew Academy’s automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) online training module last week. Previously, individual operators were required to submit the academy’s ADS-B training module to their local FSDO case-by-case to obtain a letter of authorization (LOA). The ADS-B module covers operating procedures, flight planning, MEL procedures, human-factors considerations, ADS-B phraseology, normal and abnormal system operation, aircraft IDs, data source errors and incident reporting.
The prolonged search for the Boeing 777-200 operated as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 brought attention to onboard data transmission systems that report an aircraft’s position and other information in real time. Such a system could help track an aircraft that disappears from radar coverage.
The company the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration chose in August 2007 to install the ground infrastructure needed to track aircraft by automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) plans to complete that network in the continental U.S. this month. McLean, Va.-based Exelis, which was called ITT when the FAA awarded it the ADS-B contract, said 658 of the 660 planned ADS-B ground radio stations will enter service this year, including all 601 the company is installing in the lower 48 states.
Garmin has joined the competition for AHRS-equipped portable ADS-B receivers with the new GDL 39 3D, priced at $849 or (with an optional battery) $899. Unlike other portable ADS-B receivers with built-in attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS), the GDL 39 3D works only with Garmin’s Pilot iPad and Android apps and most Garmin portable GPS receivers. When the GDL 39 3D is paired with the latest version of Garmin Pilot, users can view not only datalinked traffic and weather but also an AHRS-driven attitude indicator. The GDL 39 3D also contains a Waas-capable GPS receiver.
FreeFlight Systems (Booth No. 4513) and the University of North Dakota (Booth No. 3440) received FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) approval in the Bell 206B for the FreeFlight RANGR FDL-978-XVR. This installation is now the first rule-compliant 978 MHz ADS-B IN/OUT universal access transceiver (UAT) for rotorcraft. The company and the school jointly developed the technology with contributions from the FAA’s Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR), as well as a consortium of universities.