ADS-B: Twice as nice

This is the 12th in a series of articles looking at the impact of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) on GA pilots.

Are two systems better than one? For Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, the cornerstone of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), the answer is yes and no.

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GA already benefiting from NextGen

General aviation is benefiting from changes to the switch to NextGen — think WAAS instrument approaches and T-routes — but the FAA needs to lay out a clear case for equipping aircraft with affordable systems to offer new benefits. That’s what the National Business Aviation Association’s Ed Bolen told a Congressional panel last week, according to a report at AOPA.org. “The FAA could alleviate lingering user uncertainty about costs and benefits of equipping aircraft early in the transition by laying out a clear case that firmly establishes system requirements, incentivizes early adoption, and provides accountability through the establishment of a comprehensive timeline and budget,” the report quotes Bolen.

NextGen getting on track but problems persist

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After long delays and high cost overruns, development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is starting to get back on track, but because of program problems, users of the system are reluctant to invest in equipment for their aircraft.

The FAA has been spending about $1 billion a year since the program was launched almost nine years ago. Expenditure for the completed project is forecast to be $20 billion to $27 billion, making it one of the largest single projects undertaken by the federal government.

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Status of NextGen focus of Congressional hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Congressional hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 12, will examine the status — and delays — of the FAA’s  air traffic control modernization program known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

The Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), will receive testimony from federal government and aviation industry witnesses regarding the management and status of NextGen. [Read more...]

New online course: ADS-B for general aviation

The AOPA Foundation’s Air Safety Institute has released a new free online course, “ADS-B for General Aviation: The Basics.”

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Harris Corp. awarded NextGen contract

Harris Corp. has been awarded a 15-year, $291 million contract to provide the communications network that will serve as the cornerstone of NextGen — the FAA’s initiative to transform the U.S. air traffic control system.

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NextGen Institute slates annual public meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NextGen Institute, a partnership between the government and private sector to work on the development and implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), will hold its annual public meeting Sept. 21 at the Department of Transportation headquarters. The meeting, “NextGen: Great Promise and Challenges Remain for Government and Industry,” is from 9 a.m. to noon. Speakers include House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri and Ranking Member Jerry Costello, and Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari. To register, click here.

NextGen Alliance surpasses 1,000 members

The National Alliance for the Advancement of NextGen (NAANG) has surpassed 1,000 members, signaling an “unprecedented support for improvements in air traffic systems among travel and tourism industry and business leaders,” according to alliance officials.

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Could NextGen be hacked?

Computer security experts worry that the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen, is vulnerable to hackers. Reporters from NPR talk to one hacker who says he could place “ghost planes” in the system, essentially causing chaos. They quote him: “If you could introduce enough chaos into the system — for even an hour — that hour will ripple though the entire world’s air traffic control.” Check it out here.

Avidyne joins MIT, FAA in ADS-B development program

Avidyne is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the FAA on the Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness with Alerts (TSAA) program for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). The FAA-funded TSAA program, valued at $4 million over three years, includes the prototyping and demonstration of hardware, along with the drafting of industry standards for conflict detection and alerting to be adopted by ADS-B vendors, Avidyne officials said.

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