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FAA Targets 2020 ADS-B Adoption

October 4, 2007 — The FAA released a proposal this week that would require all aircraft flying in the nation's busiest airspace to be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) avionics systems by 2020. Satellite-based ADS-B is the lynchpin of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). In its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which at this writing was not yet published in the Federal Register, FAA states that ADS-B avionics would be optional for aircraft not flying in controlled airspace.

"Aviation must take the big step into the next generation of technology," said Acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell. "It's safer and more accurate. Satellite technology is here to stay."

The FAA claims ADS-B will be 10 times more accurate than the current radar-based system, allowing controllers to reduce separation standards between aircraft and increase the number of aircraft that can be safely managed. The FAA estimates that the number of air passengers will grow from 740 million passengers last year to one billion in 2015, and double today's levels by 2025.

This week's announcement states that ground stations for the new system will be installed beginning on the East Coast, portions of the Midwest, Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico, with nationwide coverage expected by 2013. The agency awarded the ADS-B contract to ITT Corporation in September.

The final rule is expected by late 2009. The public can submit comments on the NPRM for 90 days upon publication. To submit a comment (once the rule is published), visit the government regulations website, then select FAA in the "Agency" drop down menu; "Proposed Rules" for the document type; "Docket ID" for the category; then enter FAA-2007-29305 as the Keyword and click Submit.

Read about the FAA's ADS-B demonstration flight conducted during AirVenture Oshkosh 2007.

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