Alaska begins digital mapping to improve aviation safety

Alaska begins digital mapping to improve aviation safety

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US: Officials with the State of Alaska, US, announced that it has started a three year USD55 million dollar statewide digital mapping project. It has been 50 years since any mapping has been accomplished and what we have does not meet the National Map Accuracy Standards (NMAS), according to Department of Transportation (DOT) officials.

“There are some huge deficiencies in the states’ topographic mapping,” said Marc Luiken, Deputy Commissioner of Aviation for the State of Alaska Department of Transportation.

The SDMI project consists of two jet aircraft and three companies, Intermap Technologies, Fugro EarthData and Dewberry Engineering all Lower-48 companies, have a solid start on the three-year project. Using high resolution IFSAR, synthetic aperture radar that can see through clouds, the companies have recorded data from the Yukon River to Southcentral Alaska.

This initial effort, 60,786 square miles of data represents only 15 percent of Alaska’s 586, 412 square miles of land mass at a cost of USD5.6 million. The state’s portion of the first phase is USD1.8 million with the fed paying USD3.8 million, according to officials with DOT.

“This data will become the standard that will be used by pilots in aircraft that are Capstone equipped,” said Luiken.

“Pilots have long complained of discrepancies between GPS, maps and aviation sectional charts that had mountains as far as three miles in the wrong location,” said Lars Gleitsmann an aviation consultant with E-Terra a GIS database developer.

Source: Examiner