FAA has selected FreeFlight Systems to provide upgraded automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) avionics to fulfill the requirements of the second phase of its Capstone Project.
The project was originally launched in 1999 as a joint government-industry research and development effort to improve air traffic safety in Alaska, where aircraft are constantly flying in airspace beyond radar coverage. The avionics provide terrain, weather and traffic data for pilots on cockpit displays, and resulted in a 57 percent reduction in the number of aviation accidents in Alaska over a 12-year period, according to FreeFlight.
The program was also meant to provide a model for the agency’s nationwide deployment of ADS-B, a fundamental equipage component of NextGen. FAA funded the installation of the first-generation systems during the “Version 1” Capstone program, and now will complete “Version 2” of the program, installing newer rule-compliant ADS-B avionics provided by FreeFlight Systems. FreeFLight will remove the “Version 1” avionics, replace them with its RANGR FDL-978 XVR transceiver.
“The rule-compliant ADS-B avionics upgrade program is a significant win for our company and for the hundreds of aircraft owners who participated in the development of ADS-B,” said Tim Taylor, CEO of FreeFlight Systems. FreeFlight will provide FAA-approved ADS-B avionics for up to 600 aircraft that are currently equipped with the Version 1 ADS-B equipment as part of the first phase of the Capstone Project. All aircraft operating in the NAS will be required to be equipped with rule compliant ADS-B Out systems by 2020.