Airplanes Will Take-off and Land Using GPS Soon

The Federal Aviation Administration has finally entered the 21st century. From a radio-based navigation system it will finally turn to a modern GPS system.

Previously, modernization programs of the FAA had been largely ignored due to inadequate budget. In fact, only provisional funds keep the FAA running. But that will change once because the US Congress just passed a $ 63 billion bill to fund and continue FAA’s programs through 2015. Part of the 63 billion will be allotted to FAA’s switch to “NextGen,” a satellite-based navigation system.

Currently, the majority of the commercial airplanes use the radio-based navigation for landing. And since World War II, that technology have not changed much. According to the bill, 35 of the busiest airports in the US will have until June 2015 to change their system so pilots can land with GPS. According to the FAA, this measure will greatly reduce delays and congestions by streamlining arrival and take-offs.

The NextGen system can make the arrivals more precise and better organized. It will lead to fewer delays and diversion – making travel time more efficient. It will also use less fuel and make less noise, thereby decreasing the airline industry’s carbon footprint. With NextGen, pilots can know the precise location of nearby air traffic which will increase safety and lessen the danger of mid-air collisions. Currently, an aircraft‘s position is updated every six to twelve minutes using the on-board radar. GPS can give updates for a fraction of that time. It can also be used during airline taxing, which will lead to lower on-the-ground incidents.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law next week.



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