Several years ago, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognized that the US air transportation system and the tools it uses needed a significant review and upgrade in order to keep pace with the growing air traffic density and the demands of the industry and the public in general. This realization lead to what we know now as NextGen. According to the FAA website, NextGen is the modernization of the US air transportation system. Its overall goal is to increase the safety, capacity, predictability, and resiliency of American aviation. This overhaul brings together dozens of innovative technologies, capabilities, and procedures that will improve how the US public flies from departure to arrival. While the deployment of NextGen is still in its early years relatively speaking, the program has already achieved tremendous improvements across the US. This link presents a short video on the initiative and some of its achievements to date: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/what_is_nextgen/  

The FAA recognized very early on that ADS-B is one of these innovative technologies and it constitutes a critical cornerstone of NextGen.  The FAA also recognized that as much as Automatic Dependant Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) is necessary to the success of NextGen, ADS-B would not, on its own, greatly increase or decrease the overall safety of their air transportation system. The U.S. have ground-based ADS-B systems across the country. No such thing is planned in Canada.

ADS-B Out

ADS-B Out offers some very significant benefits to the users it was originally intended for and it is rapidly expanding around the world. The USA have mandated ADS-B to be effective in 2020 in its airspace. Canada does not yet have an ADS-B mandate and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) does not consider mandating the deployment of this technology, as far as COPA understands at the time of this writing. Conversely, Nav Canada has made significant progress in planning the deployment of this technology in Canadian airspace. It serves Nav Canada both from a financial aspect on radar reduction and elimination in some parts of the country, to being able to provide better service to those with the (still expensive) equipment. 

Read more about ADS-B and its features and capabilities: the typical ADS-B Out as mandated in several countries, ADS-B In, the US AS-B implementation, NavCanada’s proposed ADS-B implementation, benefits and costs to GA owners, and more here. We welcome your comments at operations@copanational.org