Live traffic display trial at GA airfields

Safety in the air around General Aviation airfields could improve through the use of real-time traffic displays by Air Traffic Services – and a trial to assess the technology is to take place soon.

The trial will use displays based on ADS-B to enhance awareness for ATS who currently use eyes, binoculars and radio. It does a similar job to radar without the need for complex and expensive equipment.

The aim is to gather evidence to enable the CAA to assess this capability and give consideration to authorising use of ADS-B real-time traffic displays by GA ATS units. The trial is being organised and run by FASVIG, the snappily titled Future Airspace Strategy VFR Implementation Group.

In-cockpit traffic awareness solutions for GA pilots have made great advances in recenty years. Particularly important is the development of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a system which enables aircraft to broadcast their position and altitude with great accuracy. As well as being used for in-flight collision avoidance, the data received can be used to show the location of aircraft on a display screen in the control room of a GA airfield without the need for radar.

The trial will provide a number of UK GA airfields with ADS-B ground receivers and traffic displays, plus CAA-approved portable ADS-B transceivers for some of their most frequently used flying school aircraft. It is anticipated that this ADS-B installation will provide a simple and cost-effective tool to significantly improve flight safety in the vicinity of airfields, where GA pilots are most at risk of mid-air collision.

The subject is being discussed in the FLYER forum here