November 18, 2009
By Sarah Brown
AOPA on Nov. 10 requested that the FAA make traffic information continuously available for all aircraft equipped with Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) “in” technology.
ADS-B is a key component of the FAA’s plan for transitioning to satellite-based technology for surveillance and navigation in the NextGen air transportation system. Currently, traffic and weather information are broadcast only to an aircraft using the ADS-B datalink when the aircraft transmits ADS-B information. With a minor configuration change, pilots equipped with receive-only Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) ADS-B systems would have immediate access to the safety and efficiency of Traffic Information Services-Broadcast (TIS-B).
Making TIS-B information available continuously on the UAT/978 MHz frequency would allow pilots to obtain the information with any UAT receiver and view traffic on a variety of displays, including lower-cost devices that do not also transmit data.
“TIS-B information provides the pilot with increased situational awareness and demonstrates the benefits of ADS-B technology,” said Heidi Williams, AOPA senior director of airspace and modernization. “The current practice of only broadcasting TIS-B information to aircraft that first transmit ADS-B ‘out’ limits the number of aircraft that can take advantage of the service.
“AOPA’s experience with ADS-B and TIS-B for nearly a decade confirms that continuously broadcast TIS-B is beneficial and valuable.”
The change would accelerate NextGen for general aviation while enhancing safety and utility, she added.
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