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Interview with Warren Morningstar - 11/28/00

Summary: The benefit of Mode S is better datalink capability but we've moved further now, with the advent of ADS-B, which is a better surveillance tool. AOPA supports ADS-B. Also, most commercial aircraft are equipped with Mode S already but GA aircraft aren't, so GA loses that benefit. The FAA realizes that in order to get people to do things they have to make them appealing and useful. AOPA was founded in 1939 with the goals of making flying safer, more affordable and more fun. It's the largest civil aviation organization in the world, with 365,000 members; this includes more than half the pilots in the United States.

  • [Question about GPS technologies.]

    GPS is more accurate than existing location information, and can be done with many technologies, one of which is Mode S, but doesn't have to be Mode S. GPS info can be gotten on UAT, VDL, Mode S datalinks. Most GA transponders aren't Mode S. The AOPA is interested in technology that helps pilots with additional information, such as traffic information (TIS) and weather information.

  • [Question about AOPA goals and background.]

    AOPA was founded in 1939 with the goals of making flying safer, more affordable and more fun. It's the largest civil aviation organization in the world, with 365,000 members; this includes more than half the pilots in the United States.

    [Question about "uncertified" GPS units.]

  • Lots of GA pilots use VFR units rather than IFR units, which are the certified kind. The certified ones can be used as primary navigation tools, the other ones are used mostly as additional information. The VFR units are generally handheld, and don't have RAIM.

    [Question about FAA's shifting role.]

  • The FAA realizes that in order to get people to do things they have to make them appealing and useful. The FAA does mandate transponders based on the airspace that an aircraft is flying in (rather than the type of aircraft). Transponders are required in the busier airspaces. Over 90% of aircraft have transponders, just because if they want to fly in these areas they have to.



  • The Story of Mode S: An Air Traffic Control Data Link Technology last modified: 12.06.2000