The FAA's 10-year, multi-billion dollar Operational Evolution Plan is designed to bridge the growing gap between the demand for air transportation and the USA's already strained air traffic control system by increasing capacity while managing delays. A fundamental element of the roadmap is to transition from ground-based navigation aids to satellite-based ones through the Wide Area Augmentation System and Local Area Augmentation System, which are intended to ensure the accuracy and integrity of global positioning system signals.

Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast is a key enabling technology for US "free flight" ATM, which will allow pilots and controllers to share data. On the ground, controllers will get new workstations and controller-pilot datalink communications to supplement voice communications with digital data messages. The Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) will replace ageing terminal approach control radars, which handle aircraft within 80km (43nm) of major US airports. Meanwhile, the FAA will field a satellite-based transoceanic air traffic management system.

Source: Flight International