Aircraft in Alaska Receive ADS-B Upgrade For Chelton EFIS Cockpits

By Staff Writer | May 1, 2008


Nearly 90 aircraft in southeastern Alaska are having their Chelton electronic flight instrumentation systems (EFIS) upgraded to incorporate automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) capabilities.

Chelton began field installations in March of its version 6.0B upgrade of the EFIS software under the Phase 2 of the Capstone Program. It expected to complete them last month. The upgrade allows the EFIS to integrate and display ADS-B information.


Capstone is a joint industry/FAA effort to improve aviation safety and efficiency in Alaska by putting cost-effective, new-technology avionics into aircraft and providing the supporting ground infrastructure. It is focused on non-radar environments where operations are limited to visual flight rules (VFR).

Phase 1 focused on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in southwest Alaska. Phase 2 concentrates on southeastern Alaska.

The EFIS upgrades, which includes pilot training, are part of Chelton’s cooperation with the FAA and the University of Alaska Anchorage on Capstone.

ADS-B relies on communication between aircraft and ground stations to do what conventional radar does. The difference between the two is that ADS-B can share a greater amount of information between aircraft, including altitude, speed and flight number. Unlike radar, ADS-B doesn’t rely on terrestrial stations to track aircraft or provide communications among the aircraft to transmit data. — Evan Sweetman

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