Canada ready to switch on ADS-B, six years ahead of U.S.

By January, Canadian air traffic control plans to begin daily use of a satellite-based ADS-B system around Hudson Bay, allowing planes to save fuel by flying at higher altitudes. Later in 2009, ADS-B control stations along the Canadian coast and in Greenland will provide coverage over much of the Atlantic Ocean, reducing the required air space between planes from 80 miles to just five miles. In the U.S., however, the FAA has yet to issue its final rule on ADS-B, and ground infrastructure for the technology is not expected to be in place until 2015. The Air Transport Association has criticized the U.S. approach as overly costly and complex and urged financial incentives to encourage retrofitting of older jets.

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