GPS-based tracking displays certainly would have had a role to play in preventing the April 11 collision on the tarmac at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, said Bill Voss, former FAA air traffic development director and current president of the Flight Safety Foundation.
I am a pilot and have worked for a major airline in the past. I have been in control towers and watched how controllers work. I can tell you that the half-century old radar technology is antiguated. Most of the time in clear weather, controllers use their eyes and pieces of paper to keep track of everything. It is a well known fact that the whole FAA system is too old and needs to be updated to newer technology. Who pays for this is another question. Sleeping on the job - well that's another problem that management needs to address.
I don't know that NexGen would have prevented the JFK incident. I've seen photos of the damage, and don't think they needed more than another 10 feet or so to miss - would NexGen be accurate enough to tell when the aircraft is that close? It may warn you that another aircraft is nearby, but the Air France pilots must have thought they had room, or they wouldn't have tried to taxi past. I don't see how NexGen would fix that.
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