FAA accepts new generation of air traffic control displays

The first of 11 limited-production replacement terminals for air traffic controllers became operational last month at two airports.

Early display configurations of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System are being used to direct air traffic approaching Memphis International Airport in Tennessee and an airport in Bradley, Conn. The systems, which became operational last month, were completed about six weeks ahead of schedule by Raytheon Co.

The STARS contract was awarded to Raytheon in 1996 with the goal of putting new display terminals in 172 civilian airports by 2005 and in up to 199 military airports by 2007. The overall program is behind schedule, and the systems now are being installed in phases. The early display configuration includes most of the updated hardware for air traffic controllers. The Full STARS 1 release will contain all of the hardware and 80 percent of the functionality, and the final release, Full STARS 2, will complete the process.

Early display configurations of STARS will be installed at airports in Albany, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Birmingham, Ala.; Cleveland; Des Moines, Iowa; Detroit; Las Vegas; Omaha, Neb.; and Providence, R.I., at the rate of about one a month until February 2003.

Operational testing on Full STARS 1 is being completed, and the system is scheduled to be operational in airports at El Paso, Texas, late this month and Syracuse, N.Y., in late May. Full STARS 2 began operational testing and evaluation in March, and the first installation is scheduled for Philadelphia in November.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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