Per-seat on-demand jet taxi operator DayJet says it is taking a lead role in accelerating the US Federal Aviation Administration's introduction of next-generation command, navigation and surveillance technologies into the national airspace system.

The start-up earlier has signed agreements with the FAA, Florida aviation officials and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to test new technologies under a programme unofficially known as the Florida NextGen early implementation project.NextGen refers to the FAA's airspace modernisation strategy that will be anchored by the roll-out of automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast ground infrastructure by 2013. ADS-B will ultimately replace many FAA secondary surveillance radar facilities.

The agreements mark an ongoing strategy by DayJet to realise NextGen benefits earlier than the FAA's post-2020 goals. As such DayJet chief strategist Bruce Holmes last year began lobbying ITT soon after the company won a $1.8 billion contract to deploy the ADS-B ground network last August.

 © DayJet

"We visited ITT early on and explored the idea of putting some of the ADS-B sensors at locations where general aviation and corporate operators and on-demand fleets could benefit," says Holmes. ITT is now preparing to launch the first working segment of the network with 11 ground stations in Florida by August, at least two of which are at airports in DayJet's network.

Key elements in DayJet's memorandum of understanding with the FAA include implementation of ADS-B and required navigation performance (RNP) procedures for en-route and terminal areas by 2010 as well as introducing airborne internet initiatives by 2013 for real-time fleet optimisation.

Holmes says DayJet is talking to third-party developers of the RNP and ADS-B procedures, including Jeppesen, Naverus and ACSS, creator of the advanced merging and spacing routines being used by cargo carrier UPS at its Louisville hub. The company plans to develop public and private airspace procedures, says Holmes. He expects to spend the next 18 months seeking operational approval for the various procedures in parallel with planned upgrades to the Eclipse 500's AvioNG avionics suite to support the new operations.

During that time, Holmes says DayJet will also work with Embry-Riddle to use the school's ADS-B-equipped aircraft and network "as a proxy for the development of our procedures and design of airspace".

Source: Flight International