Airport Execs: Air Traffic Control Upgrades Urgent

by kespeland on August 4, 2008

Members of the American Association of Airport Executives converge Tuesday at Louisville’s downtown Hyatt Hotel for a 2-day conference about the next generation of airport technology. Association spokesman Alex Gertsen says that participants will hear about new surveillance technologies like satellite and GPS that will replaced antiquated radar. They’ll also tour UPS facilities, where this technology is already in use.

“Louisville airport is one of the most technologically advanced airports in the world. And we’re fortunate to be hear for this first year of the conference and be hosted by the airport that has initiated a lot of these technologies,” Gertsen says.

Gertsen says some of these technologies will be implemented on the passenger side of air travel in the near term. That’s because the Federal Aviation Administration projects that American air travel will double by 2025. And air traffic controllers and airports aren’t ready to handle that. So the FAA, working with airports, is implementing the Nextgen initiative. It’s designed not only to upgrade air traffic control, but to increase airports’ ability to handle more traffic by reconfiguring runways and terminals.

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