The FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization program faces long-term technical risks and still uncertain acceptance by airspace users. But after a decade in development, NextGen could be stalled by a nearer-term threat: substantially reduced funding from Congress. In June, the House appropriations committee released transportation funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2014 that would reduce the FAA’s capital funding account, which supports NextGen programs, to its lowest level since 2000.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
The FAA claims the NextGen Air Transportation System initiative is progressing, according to its recently issued NextGen Implementation Plan report, which projects a reduction in delays of 41 percent by the end of the mid-term implementation period in 2020.
US Airways recently became the first airline to receive FAA certification approval of the SafeRoute suite of NextGen avionics applications in the Airbus A330. The airline claims SafeRoute will “enhance operational safety and efficiency during various phases of flight.”
The FAA’s NextGen Air Transportation System initiative is progressing, according to the agency’s recently issued NextGen implementation plan report. While the report focuses on improvements to airspace and navigation capabilities, the implementation plan, and especially appendix A, provides a detailed summary of technologies already implemented or planned as part of NextGen, a useful guide for those wanting to learn about ADS-B and other systems.
Airbus has chosen the ACSS T3CAS traffic management computer as the standard surveillance avionics suite for the Airbus single-aisle narrowbody family of aircraft (A318, A319, A320 and A321). T3CAS combines–in a single LRU–key surveillance avionics, including traffic alert and collision avoidance system (Tcas), terrain awareness warning system (Taws), Mode S transponder with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) OUT and also ADS-B IN functions (airborne traffic situation awareness). T3CAS is also available on the A330, according to ACSS (Chalet A306).
ITT Exelis has been awarded a $42 million contract from the Aireon venture to provide automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data processing and distribution for its satellite-based air traffic surveillance system. Aireon, a joint venture of Iridium Communications and Nav Canada, will provide aircraft position reports to subscribing air navigation service providers (ANSPs) using hosted ADS-B payloads on the Iridium Next constellation of satellites.
L-3 Aviation Products announced that it has established a presence in India and that AgustaWestland has selected L-3’s Trilogy electronic standby instrument for new production A119 helicopters.
In February, L-3 (Chalet A306, Static E170) had announced plans to add “technical support for its customers, engineering oversight for programs and expanded business development coverage” at the India Air Show in February. “The local presence advances L-3’s long-term business growth in the emerging Indian aerospace sector, as well as the region,” according to L-3.
Air navigation service providers (ANSPs) have extended their ability to track aircraft flying on far northern Atlantic routes by installing automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) stations in Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.
An airport ground vehicle transmitter developed by ITT Exelis and avionics manufacturer FreeFlight Systems is the first such device certified to a new standard by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Ground vehicles fitted with the device can be monitored by air traffic controllers, improving “situational awareness” and safety at busy airports. The vehicle movement area transmitter (V-MAT) continuously reports the position of a ground vehicle through automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) OUT transmissions.
The deployment of Lockheed Martin’s formerly troubled en-route automation modernization (Eram) system should serve as an example of the program execution critical to the success of the complex NextGen ATC modernization effort, according to the company’s CEO, Marillyn Hewson.