JetBlue Airways will equip up to 35 Airbus A320s with ADS-B capability, including the ACSS SafeRoute suite of ADS-B applications, in a demonstration funded with $4.2 million from FAA.
The so-called partnership agreement with FAA will enable JetBlue to fly more precise flights under ADS-B surveillance from Boston and New York to Florida and to the Caribbean beginning in 2012. FAA will collect data and perform operational evaluations of ADS-B on revenue flights. The A320s will be equipped over the next two years.
The agreement was announced Thursday at Washington Reagan National Airport, by a contingent of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger and Kris Ganase, president of L-3 Aviation Products Group and ACSS, the L-3 and Thales joint venture.
Babbitt said outfitting aircraft for NextGen capabilities “makes business sense,” a message aimed at encouraging the cost-sensitive airline industry to equip.
“Companies that are equipping today (for) NextGen are going to reap the benefits of the transformation of our airspace system … sooner rather than later,” Babbitt said. “They’re going to see greater efficiency, they’re going to see fuel savings, they’re going to see more on-time arrivals as we continue to increase the availability of NextGen procedures.”