Global reach ups air traffic surveillance

[Ref 16-22 April 2019 | Flight International]

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) technology, the transponder broadcasts 1) the flight’s position, 2) altitude, 3) speed and 4) heading. Satellites (“Iridium Next” satellites) relay that information to ground stations within 1s.

Under these conventional operations, flights in remote areas outside the reach of ground-based radar stations are normally controlled by regular position reports from pilots, typically provided every 10-14min. Transatlantic aircraft may currently be separated by as much as 40nm.

However, after 2 April 2019, “the first real-time, global air traffic surveillance system” went live. For flights operating in non-VHF airspace with controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC) capability, the Edmonton centre for instance, will from October of 2019 reduce longitudinal separation to 14nm or 17nm and lateral separation to 15nm or 19nm – separation distance will be reduced well more than half of current standard.

Rightly, aircraft operating across the North Atlantic are mandated to equip with ADS-B by Jan 2020 (US regulator) and June 2020 (European equivalence) respectively.



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