Crowd and Planes Swell at Day Two of AOPA Summit — Babbit Speaks
By Dave Higdon, EAA 465009, for EAA.org
A view of the LSA Mall at the AOPA Summit.
AOPA Summit static display at Peter O. Knight airport with Tampa, Florida in the background.
EAA’s 2010 Sweepstakes offering the Aviat Husky on static display.
November 6, 2009 — The inaugural AOPA Summit enjoyed the great weather Floridians boast about and pilots love to fly in, and hundred more aviators took advantage of moderate temperatures and mostly clear skies to descend on Tampa’s Peter O’Knight Airport shortly after the field opened for business on the second day of the event.
With more than 100 planes on display at AirportFest – the name given to Summit’s static display – a healthy contingency of LSA machines in the Light Sport Mall, and plenty of aircraft parking, pilots and their families browsed the selection and shuttle to the Tampa Convention Center to see more.
Some of the Summit buzz came from remarks FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt made during his opening-day appearance, remarks that confirmed the agency’s work on an alternative position-tracking system that may factor into the development of NextGen.
“We’re looking a multilateration very closely as a possible element in extending tracking to areas lacking radar coverage,” Babbitt said. He made note of a pilot project recently launched for Aspen Airport in Colorado in partnership with the state.
Multilateration employs multiple ground stations that trigger and hear transponder squawks and then determine the source’s precise location after calculating the angle and distance of the source from each station.
He also affirmed that under the agency’s plans for NextGen aircraft will not be required to carry both a transponder and an ADS-B Out transmitter once coverage is available across the country.