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The Flight Safety Foundation this week released a study investigating the application of space-based ADS-B networks that provide global coverage of near-real-time flight surveillance. In addition to identifying the safety benefits of ADS-B and challenges of implementation, the study assessed its role in addressing existing and future challenges in aviation.

FSF determined that space-based ADS-B could eliminate numerous challenges in remote and oceanic airspace, including lack of surveillance, flight trajectory monitoring that’s limited to every 30 minutes, and ATC and pilot workloads hampered by inefficient traffic management strategies. The study also addressed potential benefits for locating missing “black box” data; enhancing planning and situational awareness in conflict zones and volcanic ash clouds; and reducing risk for aircraft flying within adjacent flight information regions (FIRs).

"The ability to provide near-real-time global surveillance is a game changer for the aviation industry,” says Greg Marshall, vice president, global programs for Flight Safety Foundation.

“This type of innovative capability comes along once in a generation. I think we can all agree, it is always safer when the controller knows exactly where the plane is, 100 percent of the time."

A copy of the “Benefits Analysis of Space-Based ADS-B” study can be downloaded on FSF’s website.

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