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ADS-B In Pilot Applications

In a world of connectivity, ADS-B in the cockpit offers a new level of safety and efficiency.

Free surveillance of surrounding traffic is available on all ADS-B In receivers. Free access to weather and flight information is available on ADS-B In receivers that can receive UAT broadcasts.

For commercial operators, fuel and time savings come from more complete surveillance. It also comes from direct aircraft-to-aircraft applications — a major difference between ADS-B and radar. Two initial cockpit applications, In-Trail Procedures and Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI)-Assisted Visual Separation (CAVS), are deployed now.

As aircraft continue to equip with ADS-B In avionics, more applications will further improve safety, increase capacity, and reduce harmful aircraft emissions.

Traffic Information Services – Broadcast (TIS-B)

What it does

This free service broadcasts relevant traffic position reports to appropriately equipped aircraft. TIS-B information is available to aircraft that broadcast valid ADS-B Out and utilize ADS-B In on 978 MHz (UAT), 1090MHz (1090ES) or both. The aircraft must be within coverage of an ADS-B ground station and an FAA radar or multilateration system to receive the target information.


While ADS-B equipage increases, TIS-B significantly enhances pilot situation awareness for additional safety benefits. With traffic displayed in the cockpit, pilots and air traffic controllers are able to communicate with shared awareness of conflicting aircraft traffic. With TIS-B, a pilot will not only see ADS-B air-to-air traffic, but also the radar targets sent from ground stations, resulting in a more complete picture of traffic around the aircraft.


TIS-B is available to equipped aircraft flying within ADS-B coverage and within FAA radar and/or multilateration system coverage. TIS-B is available to aircraft flying at or below 24,000 feet (FL240).

How it works

The ADS-B system transmits TIS-B data on both UAT and 1090ES to equipped aircraft flying within coverage. TIS-B uses data from ADS-B, radar, Wide Area Multilateration (WAM), and surface multilateration systems like ASDE-X to create the accurate, near real-time position reports.

Hockey puck-shaped area around an aircraft that meets the <abbr>TIS-B</abbr>/<abbr>ADS-R</abbr> client criteria: 30 nm in diameter within a 3,500 foot section of airspace.

Aircraft equipped with avionics meeting or exceeding TSO-C199 performance requirements are "TIS-B client aircraft." Non-ADS-B aircraft or aircraft broadcasting ADS-B but not meeting TSO-C199 requirements are "TIS-B targets." Client aircraft receive TIS-B targets that are within a 15 NM radius and +/- 3500ft altitude of the client aircraft.

NOTE: Installing ADS-B In avionics without ADS-B Out avionics that meet or exceed the performance requirements of TSO-C199 only allows aircraft to receive TIS-B data intended for nearby Client aircraft that have qualified ADS-B Out avionics. This type of "piggybacking" will result in an incomplete representation of traffic around the aircraft. See "TIS-B Service Changes" below to understand the details of what ADS-B Out performance requirements must be met to receive full TIS-B services.

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Flight Information Services – Broadcast (FIS-B)

What it does

FIS-B is a free service available to aircraft who can receive data over 978 MHz (UAT). FIS-B automatically transmits a wide range of weather products with national and regional focus to all equipped aircraft.


Having current weather and aeronautical information in the cockpit helps pilots plan more safe and efficient flight paths, as well as make strategic decisions during flight to avoid potentially hazardous developing weather.


FIS-B is available to UAT IN equipped aircraft flying within ADS-B coverage.

How it works

FIS-B broadcasts a range of aeronautical information products from the FAA and weather products from the National Weather Service, as listed in the table below.

Product Description Look Ahead Range
AIRMET Airmen's Meteorological Information: A weather advisory issued by a meteorological watch office for aircraft that is potentially hazardous to low-level aircraft /aircraft with limited capability. AIRMETs cover less severe weather than SIGMETs: moderate turbulence & icing, surface winds of 30 knots, or widespread restricted visibility. The AIRMET product is being phased out in favor of Graphical AIRMETs. 250 to 500 NM
Center Weather Advisory (CWA) Information on conditions that meet or are approaching not previously forecast airmet, sigmet, or convective sigmet criteria, including moderate or greater icing; moderate or greater turbulence; heavy or freezing precipitation; conditions at or approaching low IFR; surface winds or gusts greater than 30 knots; low-level wind shear (2,000ft AGL and below); and volcanic ash, dust storms, or sandstorms. 250 to 500 NM
Cloud Tops* Forecast altitude of cloud tops will be received from the National Weather Service's High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model. 150 to 250 NM
Convective SIGMET Convective Significant Meteorological Information: Issued for an area of thunderstorms affecting an area of 3,000 square miles or greater, a line of thunderstorms at least 60 nm long, and/or severe or embedded thunderstorms affecting any area that are expected to last 30 minutes or longer. 250 to 500 NM
Graphical AIRMET A graphical depiction of meteorological weather information for conditions that may be hazardous to aircraft. These are typically issued by the Aviation Weather Center at 0245, 0845, 1445, and 2045 UTC. This product is planned to replace the AIRMET product in the near future. 250 to 500 NM
Icing * Forecast icing probability, icing severity, and anticipated presence of super-cooled large droplets at 12 altitude levels—every 2,000ft, from 2,000ft MSL to 24,000ft MSL. 150 to 250 NM
Lightning * Provides a graphical representation of the observed cloud-to-ground lightning strike density and polarity every five minutes from the U.S. national lightning detection network. 150 to 250 NM
METAR Aviation routine weather report: Contains data for the temperature, dew point, wind speed & direction, precipitation, cloud cover & heights, visibility, and barometric pressure. Reports are typically generated once an hour. 250 to 500 NM
NEXRAD Reflectivity - CONUS Continental United States Next Generation Radar. NEXRAD detects precipitation intensity, winds, and atmospheric movement. This product provides a mosaic map with precipitation intensity and relative movement between updates. Entire CONUS NEXRAD imagery
NEXRAD Reflectivity - Regional A composite picture of available NEXRAD radar imagery in a local area, showing a more detailed and higher resolution image than the CONUS. 150 to 250 NM
NOTAM-D Distant Notice To Airmen: Information requires wide dissemination: en route navigational aids, civil public use landing areas & aeronautical data. 100 NM
NOTAM-FDC Flight Data Center Notice To Airmen: Information that is regulatory: changes to charts, procedures, and airspace usage. NOTAM-FDCs include TFRs, NOTAM-TRAs and NOTAM-TMOAs. NOTAMS also include Special Use Airspace (SUA) status information. 100 NM
NOTAM-TFR Temporary Flight Restriction Notice To Airmen: Provided in textual and graphical formats. 100 NM
NOTAM-TRA/TMOA Temporary Restricted Area and Temporary Military Operation Area Notice To Airmen: Provided in textual and graphical formats. 100 NM
PIREP Pilot Reports: A report of actual atmospheric conditions encountered by an aircraft in flight. 250 to 500 NM
SIGMET Significant Meteorological Information: A weather advisory that contains meteorological information concerning the safety of all aircraft: severe or greater turbulence over a 3,000-square-mile area, severe or greater icing over a 3,000-square-mile area, IMC conditions over a 3,000-square-mile area due to dust, sand, or volcanic ash. 250 to 500 NM
SPECI A Special METAR generated if conditions change significantly within the hour. 250 to 500 NM
SUA Status Special Use Airspace status. 100 NM
TAF / AMEND Terminal Aeronautical Forecast usually covering 9 to 12 hours and issued 4 times per day. TAFs are amended as weather conditions dictate. 250 to 500 NM
TIS-B / ADS-R Service Status Provides periodic status of TIS-B and ADS-R traffic services to ADS-B IN equipped aircraft. All ADS-B airspace
Turbulence* Forecast for maximum intensity of turbulence at 12 altitude levels—every 2,000ft, from 2,000ft MSL to 24,000ft MSL 150-250 NM
Winds & Temperature Aloft Forecasts for specific atmospheric conditions in terms of wind and temperature at specific altitudes measured in feet (ft) above mean sea level (MSL). 500 to 1,000 NM

*Information is not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, or Puerto Rico.

The following FIS-B products are in deployment and will be available NAS-wide in the summer of 2020:

  • NOTAM - Temporary Restricted Areas (TRAs)
  • NOTAM - Temporary Military Operations Areas (TMOAs)

The capability and availability of FIS-B products will vary based on individual ADS-B avionics, so please refer to your avionics manufacturer for details.

NOTE: FIS-B information, including weather information, NOTAMs, and TFR areas, are intended only for advisory use for the sole purpose of assisting in long and near-term planning and decision making. The system lacks sufficient resolution and updating capability necessary for tactical aerial maneuvering around localized weather phenomena. In particular, in extreme scenarios,NEXRAD CONUS and Regional data on the display can be up to 15 minutes older than the display's age indication for that weather radar data.

NOTE: Aircraft owners should make sure safety assessments are conducted on TIS-B and FIS-B avionics. The equipment should meet the performance requirements of the FAA technical standard order (TSO) to ensure it is compatible with existing FAA FIS-B services and meets minimum performance and quality control standards.

NOTE: The ceiling for FIS-B is 24,000ft (FL240), however it is expected that users can receive the FIS-B service above that altitude. Some FIS-B products will only include data up to or near FL240, however Winds and Temps Aloft will extend up to FL390.

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