FAA Completes Nationwide Infrastructure Upgrade

The agency has finished its nationwide equipment installation for the NextGen Aircraft Tracking System.

The Federal Aviation Administration has completed the nationwide installation of equipment as part of its NextGen Aircraft Tracking System. The new equipment upgrade enables air traffic controllers to track aircraft more accurately and reliably and gives pilots more information in the cockpit.

The installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network supports a satellite-based surveillance system that tracks aircraft through GPS and in turn provides more accurate aircraft location information. When equipped with ADS-B Out transponders, aircraft positions on controller screens update continuously, as opposed to every five seconds or so with radar. One hundred of the country's 230 air traffic facilities currently use the system. By 2019, all facilities are expected to be using it.

"This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar."

NextGen is a set of initiatives being implemented by the FAA to make the U.S. aviation industry more safe and efficient.

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