Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Escape From New York



I made it out alive. I would tell you the route I took, but somebody would just tell me what I did wrong. I wonder if the GPS in airplanes is as bad as the GPS in cars ? Ours kept trying to send us through Manhattan and the Holland Tunnel. It reminds me of those guys that used to file a direct route right through the final at CLT (Charlotte, NC). It guess that answers my question.

A quick look through the air traffic control news reveals pretty much the same old same-old. Radar is antiquated (evidently airplanes are not) and NextGen/GPS will save us all. If you want to get to the truth of the matter, head on over to The Main Bang and read the document John Carr has posted from 1997. It’s long and complicated but the truth usually is.

1.     Cost Saving Ideas for the FAA
 
1.1     Rapid Navigation System and En Route Radars Transition:
 
The transition to a global positioning system (GPS)-based navigation system will significantly reduce the FAA’s maintenance costs after the existing navigation systems are decommissioned.  For decommissioning to occur, however, the FAA and user community must transition to new equipment. Under current planning, the FAA will develop and deploy the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) to replace long range radars, VORs, non-directional beacons (NDBs), and  Category I (CAT I) Integrated Landing Systems (ILSs). Until full transition occurs, the FAA must operate and maintain the old and new equipment.  This section explores potential opportunities to both reduce the cost and implementation schedule of the WAAS system and reduce the time required to decommission.


That is just the tip of the iceberg. It isn’t about saving the users money. It’s about saving the FAA money and creating profits for private businesses.

Pay particular attention to the parts about Long Range Radars (LRRs). Note that this was written well before the 9/11 attacks -- where the FAA and the world learned the importance of those same radars.

Me ? I’ve got to get on the road. See you soon.

Don Brown
June 23, 2009

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