longacre writes "With the growing number of planes in the air setting its archaic radar-based air traffic control on a course toward 'total system collapse,' the FAA has quietly begun testing a new GPS-based system on Alaska Airlines 737s. While radar can take over half a minute to determine a plane's location, GPS technology known as ADS-B broadcasts an aircraft's position to controllers and nearby pilots essentially in real time. If all goes as planned, travelers will see fewer delays as planes will be able to fly closer together and in reduced visibility conditions, and airlines will achieve significant fuel savings by flying more direct routes. The feds plan a gradual rollout over the next two decades that may cost up to $40 billion." There's still some contention about where the funding will come from.
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