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GPS Transponders Will Be Added to All Commercial Aircraft by 2020

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U.S. airlines will all meet a January 1 deadline to have Global Positioning Systems transponders on every plane, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

GPS gives air traffic controllers a far greater ability to track airplanes during flights than traditional radar.

Through the addition of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, it will be far easier to monitor flights – a problem in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which literally fell off the radar in March of 2014 and still hasn’t been found, though what appears to be bits and pieces of the Boeing aircraft have been found over the years washed up on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

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No bodies have been recovered.

But the Flight 370 tragedy was not the impetus for the change. The FAA’s move from radar to the ADS-B system is part of the $22 billion NextGen modernization the FAA has been undertaking since 2007.

“Having the equipment universally in place is absolutely essential for us to provide additional safety and efficiency benefits to people who fly every day,” David Gray, the FAA’s acting deputy director for surveillance services, told TravelWeekly.

John Maffei, the FAA’s deputy director of NextGen Portfolio Management & Technology Directorate, told TravelWeekly that as of Dec. 1, 97% of mainline U.S. aircraft had been equipped with the soon-to-be-required ADS-B transponders. In addition, 95% of regional aircraft had been fitted with the devices.

Aircraft equipped with ADS-B outbound transponders can be tracked by controllers on a second-by-second basis, Gray said. In contrast, the FAA’s current radar stations can only track a plane’s location somewhere between every four to 12 seconds.

“That makes a real big difference for controllers when they are working busy airspace in particular,” Gray said.

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United Airlines Provides Free Flights to Medical Volunteers

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United Airlines has partnered with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in order to provide free roundtrip flights for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals working to treat patients with coronavirus.

“Our healthcare workers are heroes, and they need reinforcements,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This generous partnership with United Airlines will ensure medical professionals from across the country can come to New York City to help us in our hour of need.”

New York has become the focal point of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., specifically in New York City, which has more than 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Hospital staff quickly found themselves overwhelmed due to overcrowding. Several notable landmarks have been converted into makeshift hospitals throughout the city.

United is also working with local government agencies and non-profit partners to provide New York hospitals with much-needed qualified medical professionals. The airline is closely collaborating with a network of professional medical volunteer organizations to help enlist volunteers and bring them to locations where they are needed the most.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is one of those extraordinary times that demonstrates how we come together as a profession to provide desperately needed assistance and care,” said Society of Critical Care Medicine President, Lewis J Kaplan, M.D., FCCM.

United has joined many brands across the nation to help support front-line responders by providing them free or reduced services.

Several hotels and lodging brands are offering free or subsidized housing for medical workers and front-line responders, while local and national restaurants are providing these workers with free food or large discounts.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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