FAA completes ADS-B network

In a rare case of a government agency hitting a deadline (well, almost), the FAA announced this month that the nationwide network of ADS-B ground stations is complete. This system forms the backbone of the FAA’s NextGen Air Transportation System, a new approach to Air Traffic Control.

For iPad pilots, the big news is that these ground stations are the same ones that transmit free weather and traffic information to portable ADS-B receivers. Coverage is now available almost everywhere radar coverage is available, and even reaches to the ground at some airports.

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. (for example) most of the small gaps 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.

FINAL ADSB MAP

5 replies
  1. Kent Stones
    Kent Stones says:

    My flying experience indicates that about 1/3 of western Kansas is not covered at 7000-8000 msl.i ding it disappointing that the FAA believes the network is now complete.

    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Remember that ADS-B is intended to replace radar and will only be required in Class A,B,C and above 10,000ft in Class E airspace. It’s primary role is to provide flight information and traffic separation for instrument Flights. So according to that definition, the FAA can assert that the system is complete.

      They did this to appease VFR and recreational pilots who don’t want to spend $5k dollars to equip their $20k airplane.

      http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/implementation/programs/adsb/faq/#8

  2. RW Hutto
    RW Hutto says:

    As usual, governments have come up with an idea that is supposed to make flying safer, but as usual they act without thinking of the cost (over $300,000 in each of our two aircraft) and potentially adverse operational issues. In Australia, if a G550 is flying at 49,000 feet with no other aircraft within many miles and the ADS-B fails, that pilot is required to descend to an altitude below RVSM (FL290) where traffic is heaviest with turboprop and small aircraft all over the place! The end result is more fuel consumption, more carbon emissions, and less safety.

  3. Clyde Downs
    Clyde Downs says:

    I have a Skyhawk 172 with a Garman 430W a iPad with ForeFlight and Stratus two and yes it all cost a lot of money, but you can navigate across the country safer. With more ease. Satisfaction. And less worry and when you arrive you are more relaxed. Now compare that to 1970
    Clyde

  4. Clyde Downs
    Clyde Downs says:

    I have a Skyhawk 172 with a Garman 430W a iPad with ForeFlight and Stratus two and yes it all cost a lot of money, but you can navigate across the country safer. With more ease. Satisfaction. And less worry and when you arrive you are more relaxed. Now compare that to 1970
    Clyde

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