A Delta passenger airplane taxies toward a departure runway as another lands at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. File photo by John Dickerson/UPI | License Photo
TEWKSBURY, Mass., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- An air traffic control automation system from Raytheon is now operating at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS is installed in the airport's Terminal Radar Approach Control facility as part of a Federal Aviation Administration program to modernize air traffic control nationwide.
STARS receives and processes data from targeted aircraft, weather reports and other data from terminal and en-route digital sensors. It also automatically tracks primary and secondary surveillance targets and provides aircraft position information to the enhanced traffic management system. Among its other capabilities are detection of unsafe proximities between tracked aircraft pairs and warnings of tracked aircraft flying too low.
"The STARS implementations around the country are progressing exceedingly well, with all activities on time and within budget," said Michael Espinola, managing director, Raytheon Air Traffic Systems. "The Raytheon team has deep expertise in system deployment and understands the unique safety-critical requirements of air traffic control facilities such as TRACONs (Terminal Radar Approach Control facility) and towers."
Raytheon says its START system has been certified at 11 large FAA facilities, including TRACONs and associated towers for New York, Atlanta, Dallas/Ft Worth, Louisville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver.
A total of 168 facilities have installed STARS and are in various stages of operation and testing.
"Implementation of STARS brings the national airspace system into a single terminal-area operational system, which provides increased efficiencies in terms of resources, training and maintenance," said Espinola. "Creating an effective, advanced and streamlined system, all the while maintaining outstanding safety standards, is a key goal of the FAA's Next Gen initiative."
Atlanta's TRACON, which uses five short-range and four long-range radar feeds, is located in Peachtree City, Ga. The TRACON covers about 19,000 square miles of airspace, has 28 radar positions, two flight data positions and 13 Handoff/Coordinator positions.