Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced completion of a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while also giving pilots more information in the cockpit. It's a key improvement in our Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network supports a satellite-based surveillance system that tracks aircraft with the help of GPS. The installation of this radio network clears the way for air traffic controllers to begin using ADS-B to separate equipped aircraft nationwide.
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, providing more accurate aircraft location information than the current radar system.