Free weather and traffic information in GA cockpits. Elimination of radar "dead spots." Those are some of the benefits of ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) that Oregon Department of Transportation representatives discussed Friday during a demonstration flight at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland.
"Demonstrating ADS-B to educate pilots and government officials of the safety benefits of this technology is important," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA senior director of advanced technology. "But we also are making sure government officials are sensitive to the concerns of pilots about the cost of any new equipment."
With ADS-B, pilots can use an instant two-way datalink between ground facilities and airplanes to show weather and traffic information right in the cockpit. Coupled with GPS technology, ADS-B sends the aircraft's real-time position once every second to other ADS-B-equipped aircraft. Meanwhile, ATC gets a better picture of air traffic.
For more than a decade, AOPA has played a major role in the development of ADS-B, which was tested and validated in Alaska through the Capstone Program. Now, the technology is in developmental service all along the East Coast.
And it seems to be growing in popularity with the government. The FAA is working on a 10-year plan to replace radar with ADS-B. Just last fall, Congress allocated $42 million for ADS-B funding. There is an additional $80 million proposed for ADS-B in the FAA's 2007 budget.
April 3, 2006