The British CAA's National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Canadian air traffic control (ATC)-provider Nav Canada have demonstrated simultaneous satellite tracking of an aircraft by two different centres for the first time.

A British Airways Boeing 747-400, which has been carrying the necessary avionics for more than two years as part of NATS' continuing satellite surveillance trials, was tracked by researchers at Bournemouth, UK and Ottawa on a flight from Los Angeles to London Heathrow a few days ago.

The project is part of transatlantic efforts to provide coverage of oceanic flights using a technique known as automatic dependent surveillance (ADS) that provides a radar-like picture to controllers even when aircraft are outside radar range.

Current plans call for data-linking for ADS and communications to be introduced on the North Atlantic in early 2000 when ATC providers hope to cut the horizontal separation of aircraft in the region.


Source: Flight Daily News