Live traffic display trial at GA airfields

traffic display

Safety in the air around General Aviation airfields could improve through the use of real-time traffic displays by Air Traffic Services – and a trial to assess the technology is to take place soon.

The trial will use displays based on ADS-B to enhance awareness for ATS who currently use eyes, binoculars and radio. It does a similar job to radar without the need for complex and expensive equipment.

The aim is to gather evidence to enable the CAA to assess this capability and give consideration to authorising use of ADS-B real-time traffic displays by GA ATS units. The trial is being organised and run by FASVIG, the snappily titled Future Airspace Strategy VFR Implementation Group.

In-cockpit traffic awareness solutions for GA pilots have made great advances in recenty years. Particularly important is the development of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a system which enables aircraft to broadcast their position and altitude with great accuracy. As well as being used for in-flight collision avoidance, the data received can be used to show the location of aircraft on a display screen in the control room of a GA airfield without the need for radar.

The trial will provide a number of UK GA airfields with ADS-B ground receivers and traffic displays, plus CAA-approved portable ADS-B transceivers for some of their most frequently used flying school aircraft. It is anticipated that this ADS-B installation will provide a simple and cost-effective tool to significantly improve flight safety in the vicinity of airfields, where GA pilots are most at risk of mid-air collision.

The subject is being discussed in the FLYER forum here




  • Andy Hardy says:

    This is great – hopefully will encourage adoption of ADS-B in GA aircraft here in Blighty ..!

  • Robert Davey says:

    Why not also incorporate FLARM which is used by an increasing number of gliders and power aircraft.
    RAF recreational aircraft also have this fitted and RAF Benson have a monitor displaying FLARM equipped gliders/aircraft above their radar control screens.

  • barry light says:

    PilotAware at only £200 does all that. FLARM similar but at £2000.

  • barry light says:

    PilotAware at only £200 does all that.
    FLARM similar but at £2000.

  • Robert Davey says:

    But does PilotAware display FLARM trafic and transmit it’s own position?
    The problem is there are various systems not all compatible with each other.
    A push for a low cost ADS-B system should have been made years ago rather than forcing Mode S upon us.
    As is the situation in the USA I understand.

    • Richard says:

      In short the answer is yes it now does the lot and still developing it is way ahead of the rest for just a fraction of the cost. It will display at any GA airfield as described above. Just set it up and away you go , mode C,S, ADSB, now FLARM one the ground stations have been setup.

  • Phil says:

    I wish more aircraft were fitted with Pilot Aware. For the price of a tank of fuel we can see where other planes are. Its scary being surprised by a plane suddenly coming in to view.

  • neil houghton says:

    Already done and adopted by hundreds of pilots, why wont FASVIG wake up to a sytem already in place PILOTAWARE.
    I can see ADSB, oh yes, and I can see gliders, and Mode C and Mode S warnings including altitude of conflicting traffic.
    All for approx £200 its a no brainer.
    In the tower it can be used as a pseudo radar unit giving position and altitude on an actual screen.

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