ATM Modernization, Commercial

NAV Canada Extends ADS-B Coverage

By Tish Drake | March 30, 2012
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Air navigation service provider NAV CANADA said it has expanded its surveillance to cover a 1.3-million-square kilometre portion of airspace over the North Atlantic as the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) expands.

"We estimate that this, combined with ADS-B in northeastern Canada will save air carriers $91 million in fuel costs and result in a reduction of 239,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from now to 2020," says Rudy Kellar, vice president, operations. "With this additional coverage, an intercontinental flight could go through approximately 3,300 kilometres of ADS-B coverage."

NAV CANADA's latest ADS-B expansion follows previous deployments over Hudson Bay in 2009, covering over 850,000 square kilometres, and northeastern Canada in 2010, which added more than 1.9 million square kilometres. The total coverage area for ADS-B now stands at more than 4 million square kilometres, made possible by a total of 15 ground stations installed along the Hudson Bay shoreline, the northeast coast, as well as southern Greenland.

The combined impact of all these ADS-B deployments, projected to 2020, is estimated to be $379 million in fuel cost savings for air carriers, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 1,017,000 metric tons, NAV Canada said.

Currently there are more than 1,000 aircraft from 30 airlines that are ADS-B equipped and certified in Canada.

Incorporating ADS-B surveillance in oceanic airspace required considerable engineering and software upgrades to NAV CANADA's oceanic air-traffic system Gander Automated Air Traffic System Plus (GAATS+). The GAATS+ display automatically detects when a properly equipped aircraft moves into ADS-B airspace permitting the controller to apply the new surveillance separation standard. Communications between oceanic controllers and pilots in the North Atlantic airspace covered by ADS-B has also improved through VHF radio installations.

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