When portable ADS-B receivers were first introduced, one of the main questions was how quickly the FAA would build out the required network of ground stations. After all, with no ground stations, ADS-B receivers like the Garmin GDL 39 and Stratus aren’t worth much. But so far (and perhaps surprisingly), the answer is pretty quickly.
We’ve updated our map based on the latest information from the FAA, which shows over 50 ground stations added since mid-summer. There are certainly still holes in the mountain West, but almost all other areas now have reliable ADS-B coverage starting around pattern altitude. For pilots east of the Mississippi River and on the West Coast, coverage is uniformly excellent.
The map below shows the locations of all ADS-B ground stations in dark blue. The lighter blue circles estimate coverage at 1500 ft. AGL. Note that coverage gets even better as you climb higher, so at 8000 ft. over Minnesota the small gaps will probably fill in. However, since ADS-B is based on line of sight, mountainous terrain can reduce coverage in the West.
Click on the map for a larger image.
We’ve also created an animated image to show how the ADS-B network has grown over the past year (click here to view).
For more information on ADS-B receivers, view our webinar on the topic.