Concerned about gaps in ADS-B coverage in Alaska, four aviation groups jointly urged the FAA to establish a minimum operational network for ADS-B in Alaska. In a joint letter, NBAA, AOPA, the Alaska Airmen Association, and Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation acknowledged that a few areas of Alaska were used for operational demonstrations as part of the Capstone Program.
“While the two areas used to prototype this technology are covered, and additional stations have been added for some portions of Alaska, we continue to experience large gaps in coverage in areas of the state that have significant air travel,” they said. The organizations cited a need for 23 more ADS-B ground stations to cover major sections of low-altitude routes used by general aviation and commercial operators. “We would like to see actual sites selected to optimize the coverage along these routes…as opposed to providing coverage just at the airport,” the organizations added.
They offered to work with the FAA on a statewide evaluation of ADS-B coverage to keep costs down while filling major gaps. “Filling these gaps should also encourage more aviation businesses and aircraft owners who fly in Alaska to equip, as they will obtain the benefits in the areas they operate,” they added.
Lack of ADS-B coverage was among many issues highlighted during NTSB’s forum last month on Part 135 safety in Alaska.