Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems are operational in Philadelphia, FAA said, allowing air traffic controllers to use a satellite-based system to efficienty and safely track and separate aircraft.
ADS-B coverage at Philadelphia extends 60 nautical miles out and about 10,000 feet up. It also covers the surface area and the approach corridors to the runways. Philadelphia was selected because of its current automation platform that is used by air traffic controllers, called the Standard Terminal Automated Replacement System. Also, UPS has equipped for ADS-B services and a large amount of their operations are conducted at Philadelphia International Airport. In addition, US Airways is in the process of equipping its aircraft to use ADS-B. Philadelphia is one of four sites selected by FAA to demonstrate ADS-B services. The other sites include Houston, Louisville, Ky., and Juneau, Alaska. Philadelphia Airport also has Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE-X). The ASDE-X at Philadelphia has been upgraded to receive ADS-B data. Additionally, the ASDE-X surveillance data will be used as a Traffic Information Service – Broadcast (TIS-B) source so pilots can see non-ADS-B targets on their cockpit displays.
“This new technology is a tremendous leap forward in transforming the current air traffic control system,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “The operational benefits in Philadelphia extend as far as Washington, D.C., and New York, which has some of the most congested airspace in the world.”
FAA is installing the ground infrastructure for ADS-B. The agency has proposed that airlines and private aircraft install ADS-B avionics by 2020. Some airlines and private aircraft have already started equipping in advance of that date. ADS-B is expected to be available nationwide by 2013.
For more on ADS-B, tune in to Avionics Magazine's ADS-B Webinar on June 9. Click here for more information.