ADS-B Air Traffic Control (ATC) Applications

ADS-B is now the preferred method of surveillance for air traffic control across the nation. Its real-time precision and new tools help controllers manage traffic for improved safety and capacity.

After the ADS-B mandate went into effect in 2020, the FAA began utilizing ADS-B to enable three nautical mile (3NM) separation standards in en route airspace below flight level 230, where it was not available before, resulting in increased NAS efficiency for commercial operators.

With ADS-B, ground stations are small and easily maintained, and can be placed in areas where radar was never possible. The Gulf of Mexico, for example, now has complete coverage with ADS-B installations on oil platforms and along the coast.

ADS-B aircraft tracking is near instantaneous and transmitted to both pilots and controllers for shared situational awareness.

ADS-B is also transmitted aircraft-to-aircraft, enabling air traffic control advances that will allow aircraft to maintain precise intervals in time and space.

Last updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2023