At the request of the FAA, AOPA on Wednesday played host to delegations from Ethiopia and South Africa, demonstrating the benefits of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). ADS-B is the FAA's choice for the next generation of air traffic management.
AOPA President Phil Boyer spoke with the African delegates for more than an hour, describing AOPA's long involvement in ADS-B development and the many benefits, such as in-cockpit weather and traffic data, that the system provides.
Afterward, AOPA Senior Director of Advanced Technology Randy Kenagy took the delegates for a demonstration flight in AOPA's ADS-B-equipped Beechcraft Bonanza, demonstrating the capabilities of the universal access transceiver (UAT) datalink. One member of the Ethiopian delegation, a pilot for the state-run airline, was especially enthusiastic about the combination of airliners' on-board weather radar and ADS-B's Nexrad weather for strategic routing around storms.
"ADS-B's ability to provide traffic information to controllers in areas where radar coverage is not available has tremendous implications for the wide-open areas of the African continent," said Kenagy. "We urged the delegates to bypass the Mode S transponder standard that Europe adopted and go straight to ADS-B because of the many advantages it offers to general aviation and the airlines alike."
May 18, 2006