Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is to equip its training aircraft fleets at Prescott, Arizona, and Daytona Beach, Florida, with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) to reduce the threat of mid-air collisions.

ERAU plans to award UPS Aviation Technologies a contract to equip 110 single- and twin-engined aircraft for around $1.3 million. ERAU has signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Federal Aviation Administration, under which the FAA will provide ground stations and data feeds using the universal access transceiver datalink. Three ADS-B ground stations will cover Arizona down to 1,000ft (300m) above ground level, says Sean Jeralds, chair of ERAU's Prescott flight department.

Prescott's Love Field, with almost 340,000 operations last year, is one of the busiest non-radar airports in the USA. ERAU accounted for 70% of its traffic and reported 82 near mid-air collisions last year, 54 requiring evasive action. ADS-B helps the pilot visually acquire traffic and avoid terrain and weather. Flights will be tracked in real time and recorded, allowing debriefing and incident reconstruction.

FAAground stations will provide a traffic information service-broadcast uplink, allowing pilots to see non-ADS-B-equipped aircraft, as well as a flight information service-broadcast uplink of Nexrad weather radar images. ERAU plans to equip its aircraft by year-end and hopes other airport users will follow suit. The Arizona ground stations are to go live next February, with the three Florida stations following in June.

Source: Flight International