April 8 - The FAA has approved avionics developed by ACSS that will enable 20 US Airways Airbus A330 aircraft to improve the safety and efficiency of their operations through the use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) In.
The FAA issued a supplemental type certificate for the avionics, which were developed as a result of a January 2009 agreement between the three parties. Under that agreement, the FAA awarded ACSS $6.3 million to equip the 20 aircraft with ADS-B In and ADS-B Out. ADS-B In, which the FAA does not currently mandate, provides pilots with a cockpit display showing the location of other aircraft. ADS-B Out, which will be required for all aircraft operating in transponder airspace in 2020, broadcasts aircraft positions to air traffic controllers and aircraft equipped with ADS-B In. Nine of the 20 US Airways A330s are equipped with ADS-B Out.
The ADS-B In avionics will significantly improve the situational awareness for pilots of the 20 aircraft by allowing them to see with satellite precision the other planes flying nearby. This in turn will allow pilots to take advantage of airspace procedures that will let them fly more directly from point A to point B, such as enhanced merging and spacing, and to fly at more efficient altitudes using In-Trail Procedures. As with other NextGen technologies and procedures, this will save time and money and will reduce fuel burn.