Results from an online survey indicate that general aviation pilots value ADS-B In traffic and weather services as a tool to increase situational awareness, decision-making capability, and general safety of flight.
According to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1,407 pilots responded to the survey, including many readers of General Aviation News.
Of those responding, 56% indicated that they had used ADS-B traffic and weather services. A higher percentage of pilots reported using portable “ADS-B In” systems (82%) vs. installed panel-mounted systems (28%).
Most comments focused on the value of ADS-B traffic as a supplement to “see-and-avoid” and air traffic controller advisories, the MIT researchers reported.
Among pilots who reported using ADS-B In traffic services regularly, 64% reported that the system frequently helps them visually acquire traffic. Among this same group, 42% reported that ADS-B had provided information that helped prevent a midair collision, the study found.
In terms of inflight decision-making, pilots reported using ADS-B In weather information to make better decisions about rerouting, changing altitude, or diverting to alternate airports.
A strong increase was observed in pilot satisfaction with ADS-B In traffic information for pilots who also flew with ADS-B Out, the researchers noted. Among those pilots, 60% reported being “extremely” or “very” satisfied with traffic service coverage.
For pilots using ADS-B In systems without ADS-B Out capability, the satisfaction rate was only 26%.
Respondents in both groups voiced concerns about incomplete traffic information due to selective broadcast of TIS-B and ADS-R traffic information to ADS-B Out equipped aircraft only, the researchers noted.
Among pilots who have not yet flown with ADS-B In equipment, about half indicated that they have plans to equip in the future. The most common reason given for not equipping with ADS-B was cost, although 27% of pilots also indicated that their existing cockpit equipment provided similar information.
A complete copy of the report can be found here.