Three Commonly Asked Questions About ADS-B

Three Commonly Asked Questions About ADS-B


ADS-B, or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, is a new technology that allows air traffic controllers to see traffic with more precision than ever before. Instead of relying on decades-old radar technology, it uses highly accurate GPS signals. As a result, it works where radar often doesn’t — even in remote areas or mountainous terrain. And because it can function at low altitudes and on the ground, it can also be used to monitor traffic on airport taxiways and runways. Air traffic controllers aren’t the only ones who will see the benefits though. Aircraft with certain equipment can also receive traffic and subscription-free weather information while in flight over the U.S.



Under the NextGen Air Transportation System and Single European Sky (SES), properly equipped aircraft will broadcast a wide range of information. They will transmit their identity, position, track, speed and other vital data via what’s called ADS-B “Out” technology. Air traffic control ground stations and ADS-B “In” equipped aircraft receive this information once every second. These ground stations are broadcasting traffic information to properly equipped aircraft in the service area for display in the cockpit.


Air traffic controllers will be able to reduce congestion, noise, emission and fuel consumption. This leads to more efficient routing and resource management. The system has the ability to provide pilots access to detailed traffic information. This leads to a leap forward in pilot situational awareness. This will greatly enhance the safety of all those in the air. With optional ADS-B “In” equipment, properly equipped aircraft can also receive highly accurate traffic information directly from other aircraft and ADS-B signal corrections. In the U.S., they can also access graphical NEXRAD radar information, as well as METARs, TAFs and other subscription-free aviation weather information. If you have any questions, please give us a call.

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