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ASDE-X Runway Incursion System Operational At 32 Airports

Sensis Hopes To Deploy Three More By Mid Year, 2011

Thirty-two major U.S. airports are now operating with Sensis Corporation's Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X). ASDE-X is the FAA's key runway incursion detection and alerting program set to be deployed to a total of 35 airports by mid-2011. The technology provides air traffic controllers, including those at five of the 10 busiest airports in the world, with precise surveillance of aircraft and vehicles on the runways and taxiways. ASDE-X also incorporates advanced conflict detection and alerting capability to provide controllers with automatic visual and audible warning of potential incursions.

The company says that, as the FAA's primary runway safety tool, ASDE-X has made a positive impact in the reduction of runway incursions, including a 50 percent reduction in serious incursions for the FAA's last two fiscal years, from October 2008 through September 2010. Earlier this year, the NTSB released its updated "Most Wanted List - Transportation Safety Improvements," which upgraded the status of its runway safety recommendations. In response to the updated list, the FAA noted that the deployment of ASDE-X and Runway Status Lights (RWSL), also being deployed by Sensis, are addressing the NTSB's recommendation to "give immediate warnings of probable collisions/incursions directly to flight crews in the cockpit."

ASDE-X combines surface movement radar, multilateration and Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) surveillance to provide air traffic controllers with highly accurate, real-time position and identification information of aircraft and vehicles on the airport surface. By integrating multiple surveillance technologies, the system delivers a comprehensive picture of ground operations, increasing controller situational awareness and improving airport safety in all weather conditions. The system also features advanced runway conflict detection and alerting technology, Safety Logic, which uses complex algorithms to alert controllers of potential aircraft or vehicle incursions. Further, ASDE-X is serving as the surveillance infrastructure for the FAA's RWSL program.

Sensis says that ASDE-X also facilitates the sharing of surface surveillance information through data distribution. In the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Plan, the organization recommended that surface situational awareness of the runways, taxiways and ramp areas, obtained through a system such as ASDE-X, be shared among airport stakeholders to create a more efficient airport surface management environment. The FAA identified in its response to the Plan a number of actions to enhance surface movement activity through shared situational awareness of surface activity.



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