Senior Member, Mike Webb, assistant communication officer for the Marco Island Civil Air Patrol Squadron FL-376, the technical brain behind the effort announced on the Fourth of July: “Mission accomplished…you did it fellas…250-mile range…23,000 reports received…I hope we can see our aircraft all the time now, while on missions and the Coastal Patrol over the Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands.”
Squadron Commander, Major Robert Corriveau praised the team, “Thanks to Mike Webb, Dave Dumas, Ray James, and Fred Edwards for getting this feature added to our communications room. Nice job gentlemen!” He added, “This volunteer effort not only assists the CAP mission, but it benefits and enhances the aviation community situational awareness and improves overall flight safety.”
Webb described the effort: Flightradar24.com is free to the public so anyone can access the website and see the aircraft they are interested in. A mobile “app” is available as well. FlightRadar24 will provide ADS-B receivers (antennas and ground equipment) to some users in order to expand their global coverage. Marco Executive Airport (KMKY) was a perfect candidate because the airspace to our south, the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, was poorly covered. Commander Corriveau stated, “Our hope and expectations are that we will have constant surveillance of our aircraft during missions.” The service enhances situational awareness for the communications staff monitoring a flight as well as provides real time aircraft location information for ground crews with internet access.
In the event of an in flight emergency, the MRO (mission radio operator) at mission base would have extremely accurate location information for the aircraft. Near real time weather, and real time air traffic is presented on the monitor. Flight history and the route flown are available for 12 months. Flight paths are presented with a ‘trail’ showing the entire flight. Airspeed, altitude, etc. are shown as well.
Having the ability to see a replay of the exact track flown will help with crew training. Seeing assets on a map in real time is a great decision making tool.
This is an example of cooperation where Flightradar24, a global flight tracking service and the equipment sponsor, the aviation community and CAP all benefit from the team effort. This highlights CAP supporting the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) initiative of the FAA.
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is a new National Airspace System due for implementation across the United States in stages between 2012 and 2025. NextGen proposes to transform America’s Air Traffic Control System from a radar-based system with radio communication to a satellite-based one.
Automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS–B) is a surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked. The information can be received by Air Traffic Control ground stations as a replacement for secondary radar.
ADS-B is an environmentally friendly technology that enhances safety and efficiency, and directly benefits pilots, controllers, airports, airlines, and the public. It forms the foundation for NextGen by moving from ground radar and navigational aids to precise tracking using satellite signals.
With ADS-B, pilots for the first time see what controllers see: displays showing other aircraft in the sky. Cockpit displays also pinpoint hazardous weather and terrain, and give pilots important flight information, such as temporary flight restrictions. Major Robert Corriveau