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42 Airports and the Newest Generation of General Aviation Aircraft · Remote Communications Outlet/Remote Transmitter Receiver (RCO/RTR)--An unmanned communications facility remotely controlled by air traffic personnel. RCOs serve Flight Service Stations. RTRs serve terminal ATC facilities. An RCO or RTR may be UHF or VHF and will extend the communication range of the air traffic facility. There are several classes of RCOs and RTRs. The class is determined by the number of transmitters or receivers. RCO and RTR class O facilities are nonprotected outlets established for the express purpose of providing ground-to- ground communications between air traffic control specialists and pilots located at a satellite air- port for delivering en route clearances, issuing departure authorizations, and acknowledging IFR cancellations or departure/landing times. As a secondary function, they may be used for advisory purposes whenever the aircraft is outside the coverage of the primary air/ground frequency. 5.3.3 Next Generation Air Transportation System Satellite-based approaches are the first step in the FAA's transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). According to the FAA, NextGen is the "transformation of the National Airspace System, including the national system of airport using 21st century technologies to support aviation expected growth." The elements anticipated to be part of NextGen include · Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) · System Wide Information Management (SWIM) · NextGen Data Communications · NextGen Network Enabled Weather and National Airspace System (NAS) Voice Switch. The benefits of NextGen include trajectory-based operations, collaborative air traffic manage- ment, and reduced weather impacts. NextGen air traffic control has been repeatedly identified by industry representatives as important to maximizing the utility of new generation GA aircraft. The envisioned benefits from NextGen include more direct routing and increased airspace capacity. Two major new technologies will affect airports directly: WAAS/LPV discussed above and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance--Broadcast). However, WAAS by itself is not a suffi- cient replacement for ILS because its accuracy does not match the least-demanding CAT I preci- sion approach specifications. Therefore, the FAA is undertaking to develop LAAS (Local Area Augmentation System) to support satellite approaches with ILS-like minimums. ADS-B is a technology where an aircraft determines its own position via GPS and then broad- casts the position (using "ADS-B out") to other aircraft and ground stations that have "ADS-B in" equipment that can receive the signals. In principle, the use of this technology could increase both airspace and terminal area capacity and safety by improving visual accuracy under VFR, allowing Key NextGen Questions reduced spacing and separation of aircraft en route and on final approach, and providing safer ground opera- What NextGen implementation is occurring tions under low-visibility conditions. The FAA has in my region? announced a three-phase timetable for implementation Are there steps we can take to better that stretches out to 2020. The FAA has been conduct- position ourselves to take advantage of ing trial programs using ADS-B. One area of concern is NextGen? that it may be expensive for individual aircraft owners to equip their planes with the technology. 5.4 Ground Access To complete the transportation process, ground access is often considered one of the most important facets of airport services after runway length and instrument approaches, particularly for commercial operations. The type of ground transportation needed is closely related to the pur-