FAA certifies ITT Exelis airport ground vehicle transmitter device for more efficient airfield operations, increased ATC situational awareness

Airport

HERNDON, Va., 14 Feb. 2013. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials have certified the ITT Exelis (NYSE:XLS) vehicle movement area transmitter (V-MAT) device as compliant with the agency’s standards. The device uses ADS-B technology in support of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

The V-MAT device permits ground vehicles operating on the airport surface to broadcast their position, which FAA air traffic controllers can use to view and track the vehicles, in addition to appropriately equipped aircraft operating near the airport and on the airport surface. This enhanced situational awareness for air traffic controllers provides a complete picture of airport surface activity and enables greater safety and efficiency for airfield operations, says a representative.

The V-MAT device uses ADS-B technology to determine and share precise vehicle location information. Vehicles operating with V-MAT devices will have their transmissions automatically detected by FAA ADS-B receivers and delivered to air traffic controller positions for complete airport-wide situational awareness.

The Exelis V-MAT is said to be the first such device to be certified by the FAA under the requirements of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5220-26, which ensures that the devices are properly installed and configured in airport vehicles, properly maintained, and compliant with FAA standards for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

“Achieving certification of this device was the result of a significant collaborative effort between Exelis, FAA, Massachusetts Port Authority, and the FreeFlight Systems vehicle unit manufacturer,” says Ted Carniol, head of Exelis commercial aviation solutions. “Equipping vehicles with V-MAT will increase the safety and efficiency of airfield operations particularly in situations such as construction and snow removal and in critical situations such as aircraft emergency events.”

ADS-B is the FAA’s satellite-based successor to radar and is the cornerstone of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) initiative to modernize air traffic control in the national airspace system.

Airport image courtesy Shutterstock.

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