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Terminal Automation Modernization and Replacement (TAMR)

The TAMR Program Office sustains the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) at Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities and their associated Air Traffic Control Towers across the National Airspace System (NAS).

Refer to the following caption.
Old and new Terminal Automation Systems shown side-by-side for comparison

What is Terminal Automation?

Terminal automation systems receive surveillance data and aircraft flight plan information. Controllers at radar control facilities use these systems to manage air traffic immediately around airports, and technicians maintain these systems at facilities.

These systems enable controllers to provide several air traffic control services that are critical to the safety of the national airspace:

  • Separating and sequencing of aircraft
  • Conflict and terrain avoidance alerts
  • Weather advisories
  • Radar vectoring for departing and arriving traffic

What is STARS?

STARS is a single, state-of-the-art platform that is being installed at TRACONs and their associated Air Traffic Control Towers. It will:

  • Maintain safety while increasing cost-effectiveness at terminal facilities across the NAS
  • Provide advanced functionalities for controllers, such as a flat-panel LED display and the ability to save controller workstation preferences
  • Offer an easier-to-maintain infrastructure for technicians

STARS is a foundational technology in the FAA-led modernization of the U.S. airspace system. Similar to En Route Automation Modernization at Air Route Traffic Control Centers, TAMR allows TRACON facilities to use Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast data and other technologies that will make flying safer, more efficient, and more predictable.

The phased STARS implementation process began in the early 2000s and was completed in 2021. STARS is now operational in over 500 FAA facilities and over 200 Department of Defense facilities, and is being used by thousands of controllers and technicians daily.

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