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Monday, February 1, 2010

Rotorcraft Report: ADS-B Goes Live in Gulf of Mexico

Commercial | ATC

Air traffic controllers in Houston have started using automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) to monitor, manage and separate aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood notes the satellite-based system “will help the FAA improve the safety of flights over the Gulf, even as air traffic increases.” During a Jan. 12 press conference in Houston, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said that the technology “will save time and money for aircraft operators and passengers and reduce our carbon footprint.” Helicopter Association International (HAI) President Matt Zuccaro added that ADS-B will improve safety and operational efficiency of helicopters in the offshore oil and gas industry. PHI Inc. became the first operator to conduct an IFR-controlled helicopter flight over the Gulf using ADS-B during a Dec. 17 flight.

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