FAA Requiring All Flights to Have GPS Tracking System by 2020
April 15, 2014 1:25 PM
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It will fill in the spots radar can't reach
After a recent
missing Malaysian Airlines flight
, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided to mandate GPS-based aircraft tracking on planes.
, the FAA will require that all planes have a GPS tracking system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network by 2020.
ADS-B allows controllers to monitor an aircraft using GPS satellite tracking instead of current ground-based radar. The problem with radar is that it doesn't cover some spots around the world, and ADS-B will make sure those particular spots are accounted for (as well as everywhere else around the globe).
Currently, only 100 of the 230 air traffic facilities across the country use ADS-B. But by 2020, all will be onboard. The U.S. already has the ground stations in place for their use, so now it's just a matter of equipping planes with the system.
In addition to tracking planes, the new system will also provide pilots with more accurate, real time information, like weather, when in flight.
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RE: About time
4/17/2014 12:42:28 PM
The $300 reference is about a GPS tracker. You can buy a handheld or even a dash mount for an aircraft. Compared to ADS-B, they are far less expensive but I believe it only provides GPS position data and nothing else. As an inexpensive position tracking device, yes, it is cheap compared to ADS-B installation. However, it does not have the same capability. A few years ago, a helicopter flying in a remote area crashed. It had one of these dashmount systems. Homebase was receiving the position data, and was able to launch a rescue effort before the pilot could have done anything. But again, it is not nor could it be an ADS-B replacement.
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