ADS-B: Real Benefits

June 2, 2010

Through its involvement in planning for the transition to NextGen, AOPA has emphasized the importance of providing near-term benefits for GA. The FAA says in its ADS-B Out rule that it will consider expanding the services for ADS-B beyond what it currently has planned, and the association continues to maintain that a successful transition will be based on tangible benefits such as expanded ATC coverage and low-cost traffic and weather services.

While ADS-B allows controllers to see wider areas and lower to the ground, current plans are simply to duplicate the current radar footprint with ADS-B by 2013, with the small addition of the Gulf of Mexico. AOPA is pushing for an expansion of the existing radar overlay.

“If expanded to outlying airports, the better coverage from ADS-B technology could eliminate the one in, one out policy at many GA airports,” Spence said. “GA pilots would be able to benefit from traffic, vectoring, and ATC coverage to the surface.”

GA pilots may also benefit from traffic and weather displays from ADS-B In, the receiver associated with ADS-B technology. ADS-B In benefits could be as inexpensive as an iPhone app, but as it stands now, aircraft will be able to receive data uplinks of traffic and weather through ADS-B In only if they are broadcasting ADS-B Out. AOPA is calling for a continuous data uplink between now and 2020 so that pilots could realize benefits using a low-cost receiver and see reasons for equipping with ADS-B.

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