Raytheon-Sponsored Air Traffic Industry Round Table Provides Key to Reducing Delays and Increasing Safety
WASHINGTON, June 25, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- The key to reducing delays and increasing safety in the aviation industry lies in the speedy adoption of a satellite-based air traffic control system, according to aviation experts at a recent Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN)-sponsored industry roundtable discussion.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) has been called the future of air traffic control. Instead of using radar data, signals from Global Positioning System satellites will provide air traffic controllers and pilots with much more accurate information to keep aircraft safely separated in the sky and on runways.
The industry roundtable discussion, moderated by Jane F. Garvey, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration, included the insights of James May, president of the Air Transport Association, the nation's oldest and largest airline trade association; Capt. Bart Roberts, managing director of flight operations for American Airlines; Roderick MacKenzie, vice president of Advanced Applications for XM Radio; and Andrew Zogg, Raytheon vice president of Airspace Management and Homeland Security.
"This is an issue of great importance to our nation," said Zogg. "Every day, more than 60 percent of the world's air traffic passes through U.S. airspace. In 10 to 20 years, we expect more than 1 billion passengers will travel annually by airplane, and thousands of new consumer jets will swarm the skies. And this will burden a system that uses technology derived from the great innovators of World War II."
The FAA is addressing these issues with a project that promises to revolutionize the U.S. aviation industry. If successful, the FAA's ADS-B program will greatly reduce flight delays, increase air safety and enable air traffic controllers to better manage increasingly crowded skies.
"ADS-B will be a great enabler to allow our member airlines to fly more efficient routes," said May. "Moving to this modernized GPS technology will also save fuel, reduce emissions while mitigating delays. Across the board, it is going to benefit the flying public tremendously."
Safety benefits, however, are the primary driver of the ADS-B solution.
"A single runway incursion accident prevented, or the prevention of another mid-air accident, or the intervention before a controlled flight into a mountain are the headlines of the past," said Roberts. "We will not read about them in the future because of what ADS-B will become to aviation safety."
After successful testing of the technology, the FAA reserved $80 million for fiscal 2007 to begin initial implementation of ADS-B in the national airspace system. Raytheon is one of three teams pursuing the ADS-B program; the FAA is expected to select the winning team and award a contract in August.
"The Raytheon team is proposing an innovative single frequency solution for the FAA's ADS-B program that reduces equipment costs and improves safety by adopting the single international standard for locating aircraft," said Zogg. "The Raytheon solution is more cost effective because it adopts a frequency already being used by commercial and general aviation aircraft."
The savings also are realized by using the existing technology developed by XM Radio to deliver graphical weather displays to the cockpit through their XM WX Weather Service.
"It is recognized that in about 30 percent of aviation accidents, weather was a contributing factor," said MacKenzie. "The industry acknowledged the power of real-time graphical weather in-flight to improve pilots' situational awareness and has adopted this solution very quickly. Today about 80 percent of all new general aviation aircraft delivered has the XM WX Weather Service capability installed at the factory."
As ADS-B is deployed, both government and industry agree on the benefits. "We all hope that ADS-B will be the equivalent of widening our nation's airways from two lane country roads to six-lane interstate and international highways," said Zogg. "All the while, ADS-B will provide increased safety and convenience to the millions of passengers flying every day."
Raytheon Company, with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 85 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.
Contact: Lynford Morton 703.284.4446 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Raytheon Company
CONTACT: Lynford Morton of Raytheon Company, +1-703-284-4446,
Web site: http://www.raytheon.com/