The Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors voted to fund and install two ADS-B ground stations at their June 26, 2019 meeting. Airport staff will work closely with L3Harris Technologies to install one ground station at KTRK and one at KTVL (South Lake Tahoe Airport) by summer 2020.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) is a long term and a technical subject. KTRK is not covered by radar. ADS-B is the Next Generation solution mandated by the FAA for air traffic control in the national air space across the U.S. skies by January 1, 2020. It’s designed to act as a data network of satellite and ground station coverage painting a full traffic picture for pilots and air traffic controllers.
The Truckee Tahoe Airport District (TTAD) has been working to gain FAA permission to add ADS-B surveillance service at KTRK for the past two years. In early August 2019 the FAA approved TTAD to enter negotiations with L3Harris Technologies to design and build an ADS-B station providing airborne coverage of aircraft from the ground to the flight levels over KTRK. The advanced air traffic control system is estimated to cost approximately $1M and be operational summer 2020.
The benefits? SAFETY, reduction of community annoyance, enhanced situational awareness, better operational data, and an airport ready to meet the transportation needs of our community. The District is also studying any unintended impacts ADS-B may have for the community. To view a short 2 minute video of ADS-B click the link at the top of the page.
A. How will the new system increase safety? The new system will patch a radar surveillance “hole” that currently exists in the skies over the Truckee region. In doing so, air traffic controllers serving Truckee, Reno and the Bay Area will be able to see traffic arriving and departing from Truckee, or just passing through the area. This will better enable controllers to sequence aircraft, reduce airborne and ground delays and reduce noise and environmental impact by reducing fuel burn. The system will also enable pilots in the region to see one another on cockpit displays, decreasing the chance of mid-air collisions.
B. How will the new system decrease airport noise? Aircraft arrival and departure procedures can be developed using the new system. These procedures can help reduce noise by routing aircraft away from residential areas in a mandatory way. Currently, pilots are given voluntary noise-abatement instructions, which are of limited value to those unfamiliar with the area. The new ADS-B based procedures will require no familiarity with the region and allow a higher degree of direct control over the flight path of the aircraft.
C. How will the new system affect night operations or the size of aircraft visiting Truckee? The new system can make night operations safer and quieter by providing positive routing guidance to pilots. A recent survey of pilots who operate from (or visit) the Truckee airport indicated that no additional operations should be expected as demand for the airport at night is not significant. The system will not enhance the accessibility of the airport for larger aircraft in any way.
Here is more info on ADS-B