FAA has activated Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) technology for air traffic controllers (ATC) at Montrose Regional Airport in western Colorado.
WAM uses a network of small sensors in remote areas to send and receive signals that allow system computers to determine the aircraft’s location, which allows controllers to track aircraft in mountainous areas outside of radar coverage.
Deployment of WAM in western Colorado is part of the Colorado Surveillance Project, a partnership between FAA and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to provide radar-like aircraft tracking service to the mountain communities of Colorado.
CDOT said the improved surveillance from WAM should produce more efficient flight paths, reduced fuel burn and other economic benefits for aircraft operators in the area.
“This system will allow pilots to fly search and rescue missions in weather conditions that would have previously kept them grounded,” said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “It also will support Colorado’s tourism by enabling pilots to land in conditions that previously caused diversions or flight delays.”