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Foreword - Articles and news items

The evolution of ATC

Issue 5 2012  •  3 October 2012  •  Bill Shea, former FAA Associate Administrator

From the simple, yet antiquated Air Traffic Control system of the 1930s to today’s new multi-billion dollar NEXT GEN satellite programme which is currently being developed, the progress of worldwide ATC has been pushing forward at an astonishing rate.Over the years, the world’s ATC systems have experienced dramatic success. As a pilot, I’ve observed and flown this great ATC programme. Credit should be given to national governments, research personnel, engineers, equipment manufacturers, airports, airlines, navigation experts as well as private and government ATC entities. But perhaps, most importantly, credit should be given to the pilots and controllers who are so dedicated to making the system work safely and efficiently.I recall, vividly, flying the old low frequency airways and airport approaches with the old Automation Direction Finding Equipment (AFD). After this came the Visual Omni Range (VOR), and Instrument Landing System (ILS) and the Ground Control Approach (GCA), where the controller handled both approach azimuths and verbally directed pilots to a safe landing.

Predicting the future

Issue 1 2012  •  7 February 2012  •  Bill Shea, Former FAA Associate Administrator

World aviation growth for 2012 will exceed present forecasts! Aviation is on a roll in the US. We have lift off! At last, the US Federal Government, the aviation industry and aviation interest groups are pulling together to build a more efficient national and international airspace system.Of course, where the rubber hits the road, the airport runways, are paramount to success of any global air transport system. The new Next Generation (Nex Gen) Air Traffic Control system will help immeasurably in improving efficiency and capacity. And dramatic new improved weather reporting should be available in the future at all international airports. It is my opinion that the US Federal Aviation Administration Airports Office has done a great job and I am sure that the ‘stellar cadre’ of FAA Airport Experts will ensure success in these future endeavours.


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