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FAA ERAM takes off

FAA’s ERAM takes off

The Federal Aviation Administration appears to be making progress on the implementation of the NextGen air traffic control system with the announcement of the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM).  In a speech at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced that the ERAM is functioning in 20 high-altitude air traffic control centers where it has been installed. 

ERAM is considered a major pillar of the NextGen project -- which seeks to modernize the FAA’s 40-year-old, hard-wired airspace management system and move it to a more IP-network-centric model -- because it drives the display screens used by air traffic controllers to safely manage and separate aircraft.  Described by Huerta as providing “a big boost in technological horsepower over the system it replaces,” ERAM uses two million lines of computer code to process data regarding aircraft identity, altitude, speed and flight path. 

In accordance with NextGen’s greater goal of connecting networks, ERAM is also designed to operate with other critical FAA technologies slated for NextGen implementation, such as Performance Based Navigation, which lets controllers and flight crews to know exactly when to reduce the thrust on aircraft, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, in which an aircraft determines its position from satellite-based information then broadcasts that data, enabling it to be tracked. Additionally, ERAM’s integration into communications systems will enable direct-link communication, similar to text messaging, while eliminating voice communication. 

“With ERAM in place, the FAA has fulfilled an important commitment in modernizing the nation’s NextGen air traffic control system,” Huerta said.   

Posted by Mark Pomerleau on May 04, 2015 at 1:02 PM


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