The Federal Aviation Administration has completed work to install new equipment and update aircraft tracking systems at air traffic facilities as part of the agency’s Next Generation Air Transportation System initiative.
The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast radio network is operational at 100 out of 230 air traffic facilities across the U.S. and the agency is aiming for full operational status by 2019, FAA said Monday.
“This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
The satellite-based ADS-B uses GPS technology to track aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out transponders that are built to broadcast a plane’s location.
Installation of ADS-B Out on aircraft is mandated for completion by Jan. 1, 2020, while the non-mandated ADS-B In is intended to provide location data to pilots in relation to other aircraft, bad weather, terrain and restricted airspace.
Exelis has installed 634 ground stations across the country for the FAA.