US Federal Aviation Administration officials will ask Congress to fund a nationwide deployment of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology in its fiscal year 2008 budget request.

Nationwide deployment of the technology is a necessary part of the US government’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) architecture, the director of the FAA’s office of system architecture and investment analysis John Scardina said today at the Air Traffic Control Association symposium in Arlington, Virginia.

An FAA notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning the issue is expected within the next year. The entire process of ADS-B deployment will take “about six years” to accomplish, says Scardina. However, the ADS-B funding level - which was increased to $80 million in the FAA’s fiscal 2007 request - will need to be significantly higher beginning in fiscal 2008 to afford nationwide deployment, he says.

Members of the government’s multi-agency Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) – of which the FAA shares a lead role with NASA – will cooperate in determining appropriate funding levels. The JPDO’s main project is developing the NGATS, a programme that aims to modernise the national airspace system by 2025. Scardina, who also serves as the JPDO’s portfolio management director, says nationwide deployment of ADS-B is a necessary safety enhancement.

ADS-B has been operational in Alaska for several years and in April 2005 developmental service became available along the US east coast from Florida to New Jersey. Pockets of coverage are available in Arizona, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Scardina says the FAA will maintain its 2002 ADS-B data-link decision to require the use of either a 1090MHz extended squitter datalink or a universal access transceiver, as part of any final nationwide deployment scheme.

This article first appeared on Air Transport Intelligence, an online business intelligence service for the air transport industry with 24 hour news and data available to subscribers.

Source: Flight International