Although a “road map” for the next-generation ATC system will be released June 23, members of the House aviation subcommittee at a hearing yesterday expressed some concerns about their efforts to date. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is worried about oversight, particularly ownership of ADS-B, the “backbone” of the NextGen system.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO John Douglass warned Congress that government agencies must redouble efforts to develop the nation’s next generation air transportation system (NextGen) or the nation will suffer serious operational–and economic–impacts.
“Business aviation operators are becoming much more sophisticated about the ways they can use their airplanes outside the United States,” said Bill Stine, NBAA’s director of international operations and the man behind the curtain for the association’s annual International Operators Conference (IOC), held this year in San Diego.
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) convention usually offers a sneak preview of the future of general aviation avionics. This year there were plenty of product introductions, but the real news from AEA 2007 unfolded before the show started.
Just as very light jets are on the verge of joining the new generation of general aviation aircraft produced by Cirrus and Lancair, NASA has begun field demonstrations of its Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) in preparation for a more comprehensive proof-of-concept drill next summer at the Danville Regional Airport, Va.
If asked today for their views about automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), many pilots might respond that it was developed to meet the unique needs of single-engine commercial operators in remote areas such as Alaska, where only minimal ATC services were available. Alternatively, it was aimed at helping freighter pilots best position themselves in inbound traffic streams during “rush hour” operations around freight hubs.
The investigation report of the October 2001 runway collision between a taxiing Citation CJ2 and a Scandinavian Airlines MD-87 taking off at the Linate Airport at Milan, Italy, is quite revealing.
The FAA placed production orders for 11 of Sensis’ airport surface detection equipment systems, Model X (ASDE-X). This requisition is in addition to the 21 initial systems ordered in December 2002. The production option for the 11 ASDE-X systems, in addition to associated hardware, software and support, is worth approximately $35 million.
In the light of the European Union’s final go-ahead given to the “Single European Sky” (SES) initiative, speakers at the Jane’s ATC Maastricht Conference (see box) engaged in a lively debate about how to enhance air-traffic management performance.
Nav Canada last month awarded its national ADS-B program to Syracuse, N.Y.-based Sensis, and installation of the first system ground stations is now under way. The FAA, on the other hand, faces some unexpected pre-contract issues as it moves toward its implementation plan.