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Alaskan airport gets new tracking system

May 4, 2010, 11:14 pm

Air traffic controllers in Juneau, Alaska, now have the chance to use advanced technology to make their jobs easier while making flying more safe.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a new system is being used near the city that allows controllers to see planes in the air. Because of the mountains near the city, towers could not use radar to track planes.

The Wide-Area Multilateration System uses sensors placed on the very mountains that blind air traffic controllers to the position of planes. The sensors send out a signal, which aircraft transponders respond to.

"This technology will allow more aircraft to fly into Juneau and it will give air traffic controllers the tools they need to safely and efficiently handle these flights," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.

The WAM will act as a backup to the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system, whichuses satellite technology to track airplanes. The new technologies are part of the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System. Recently, an airport in Philadelphia had the ADS-B installed, which gives controllers one-second updates about aircraft locations.ADNFCR-3158-ID-19758442-ADNFCR

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