February 10, 2012

Swiss pilots try new ATC Procedures

I discovered this piece of news about a Swiss flight that used a new ATC technology that allows pilots to provide their own separation services while on an instrument flight plan.

I'll admit that I'm not all that familiar with oceanic ATC procedures, but what drew me to this was more the implications for the FAA's NextGen Airspace. From what I understand of the program, the FAA intends to automate much of the en-route ATC system, and this appears to be a step in that direction. If this is successful, I can eventually see the system being included first on Airliners, and eventually (like TCAS) all IFR-certified aircraft will have this system. It also has implications for the proliferation of UAS into the national airspace, as UAS pilots can have a clearer situational awareness of surrounding traffic and maneuver around them. We have yet to discover how reliable this system is, but it certainly shows great promise.

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