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GPS-based air traffic control system to go live by 2020

Tim Stevens
06.01.10
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If you've ever watched an investigative journalism show that exposes things you didn't know you had to worry about, there's a good chance you've seen footage of the archaic green-screens in use at airport towers across the country paired with shocking headlines like "Hidden Airport Menace" or "Glidepath to Danger." Plans to replace that tech are finally in motion, with the FAA indicating its new air traffic control system will go into effect by 2020, possibly as early as 2015. This system requires that any aircraft flying within commercial airspace must have a GPS-equipped navigation system -- and we don't mean a TomTom stuck on the windshield. These systems will cost between $5,000 and $10,000 for small planes and are able to beam information to ground control stations that will no longer have to rely exclusively on radar. The plan could cost the FAA alone roughly $4 billion, giving bored local news personalities something else to sensationalize.

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