November 12, 2010
AOPA Publications staff
The satellite-based “NextGen” airspace modernization system is taking shape on schedule and will provide pilots with low-cost traffic, terrain, and weather tools in the future, FAA and aviation industry officials said Nov. 11 at AOPA Aviation Summit.
“It’s a dramatic safety enhancement,” Dennis Roberts, an FAA official who took part in a NextGen panel discussion, said of the future system’s ability to provide more ATC coverage in remote areas and safely increase capacity. “It’s imperative for the future viability of our airspace system.”
The FAA will require all aircraft to provide ADS-B “Out” by 2020 in airspace where Mode C transponders are currently used. Avionics manufacturers are developing a wide array of new products that provide pilots traffic, weather, and terrain warnings based on ADS-B “In.” Unlike today’s subscription weather products, the ADS-B services will be provided free for an unlimited time, FAA officials said.
The cost of the new ADS-B equipment is the big question mark—but Tim Taylor, president and CEO of FreeFlight Systems, said meeting the ADS-B requirements will cost less than a transponder, and many of the new products will be able to connect to today’s WAAS-enabled GPS units.
AOPA has questioned the FAA rule that requires both Mode C transponders and ADS-B Out for general aviation aircraft. But FAA and industry officials said it’s likely that new products are being developed that will economically send out both signals. And all aviation segments will benefit from the added capacity, lower cost, and greater reliability the future system will bring. —AOPA Publications staff
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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