Houston's George Bush Intercontinental airport is the latest US facility to operate with airport surface detection equipment model X (ASDE-X) designed by Sensis to prevent runway incursions and allow ground traffic to operate more efficiently.
Sensis is under contract with the FAA to develop and deploy ASDE-X, and Houston is the 21st US airport to use the system. Elsewhere in Texas, the system is operational at Houston's William P Hobby airport and is being deployed at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport.
The FAA has accelerated its target of installing the system at 35 airports from 2011 to autumn 2010, and last month FAA administrator Randy Babbitt expressed interest in deploying ASDE-X beyond the 35 airports originally included in the programme.
ASDE-X uses surface movement radar located in air traffic control towers and remote towers, multilateration sensors, automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B), terminal automation systems and aircraft transponders. This allows ASDE-X to determine the position and identification of aircraft and transponder-equipped vehicles on the airport surface and aircraft flying within five miles (8.05km) of an airport.