FAA Team Wins Collier Award for Next-Gen Data System

The Federal Aviation Administration's Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) program team has won the 2007 Robert J. Collier Trophy, a high honor in aviation that is awarded by the National Aeronautic Association. Previous winners include Orville Wright and Neil Armstrong.

Paul Fontaine, manager of FAA's advanced technologies development and prototyping group, is the new honoree after leading more than 100 members of the ADS-B program in the research and development of ADS-B from 1999 to 2005. Called the cornerstone of FAA's NextGen plan to transform the air traffic control system. ADS-B sends weather, traffic, and airspace information to airplane cockpits. "It will provide significantly more cost-effective performance with higher accuracy, integrity, and update rates than regular radar," according to the agency, which said the Collier Award is one of FAA's single biggest technology achievements.

"ADS-B is a ground-breaking effort for next-generation airborne surveillance and cockpit avionics," said NAA Chairman and Collier Selection Committee Chairman Walter Boyne. "Its implementation will have a broad impact on the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the national airspace system."

FAA says its ADS-B program has benefited from wide industry participation, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Air Line Pilots Association; Alaskan Aviation Coordination Council; Cargo Airline Association; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; FAA's Capstone Program Office, Office of Aviation Safety, Safe Flight 21 Program Office, Surveillance and Broadcast Services Office, and William J. Hughes Technical Center; GARMIN AT, Inc.; Independent Pilots Association; Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions; MITRE Corporation; NASA's Ames Research Center and Langley Research Center; RTCA's Special Committee and ADS-B Working Group; Sensis, Inc.; University of Alaska, Aviation Technology; and UPS.

Fontaine and colleagues are scheduled to accept the Collier Trophy at a June 12 dinner in Arlington, Va.

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