US: The FAA is accelerating the implementation of the next generation of aviation tracking following the disappearance of the Malaysian Airline MH370. The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has completed a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while giving pilots more information in the cockpit.
The nationwide installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network supports a satellite-based surveillance system that tracks aircraft with the help of GPS. The statement issued by FAA also mentioned that all aircraft operating in controlled airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics that broadcast the plane’s location by January 1, 2020.
Of the 230 air traffic facilities across the country, 100 are currently using this system to separate traffic. It is expected to be connected and operating at all 230 facilities by 2019. With the upgraded surveillance and broadcast system and aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out transponders, aircraft positions on controller screens update almost continuously, compared to every 4.7 seconds or longer with radar.