Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a crucial component of the nation's Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), and its implementation over the next 20 years will turn the NextGen vision into a reality. After years of research and development, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determined in 2005 that ADS-B was ready to be implemented throughout the national airspace system.
With ADS-B, both pilots and controllers can see radar-like displays of air traffic. The displays update next-to-real-time and do not degrade with distance or terrain. The system also gives pilots access to weather services and flight information services.
The gains in safety, capacity, and efficiency as a result of moving to a satellite-based system will enable the FAA to meet the expected growth in air traffic predicted in coming decades. Because ADS-B is a flexible and expandable platform, it can change and grow with the evolving aviation system.