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FAA Mandates All Aircraft Must Use GPS by 2020

gps flightsA new set of requirements handed down by the Federal Aviation Administration will overhaul the nation's air traffic control system within the next decade. According to an Associated Press report on CBS News, the FAA mandated that all aircraft and ground control must install and use GPS-tracking systems by 2020. It will cost $4 billion for the estimated 7,000 airliners and cargo planes plus more than 200,000 general aviation aircrafts to update their equipment. As of now, it isn't clear whether the government will help pay or simply leave airlines and pilots high and dry.

But, in the long run, this new air traffic control system will save money and lives. With GPS, the location of every aircraft will be continuously broadcast, unlike the current radar-based system. Since pilots will have a better sense of where other planes are located, air traffic controllers can also space aircraft more closely together and put them on more direct flight path. In turn, saving time, fuel and money, since planes won't be in the sky as long.

There's no denying that the current air traffic control system is outdated. As the AP reports, we've been using the same technology to navigate planes since the 1940s. However, we worry how these requirements will affect airlines, and especially independent pilots who are forced to spend thousands of dollars on equipment upgrades. [From: AP/CBSNews]

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