Contact Us
Make My Homepage

U.S. Airplane Tracking Technology Unchanged Since World War II

Subscribe to KSOO-AM on

Anyone with a smart phone has a better grasp on the exact location of aircraft than U.S. air traffic controllers. Technology upgrades in aviation would pay immediate dividends.

Former North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan is part of a group pushing to replace some decades-old systems that are woefully inefficient.

“Sixty other countries have changed the way they do air traffic control. We’re going to have to (upgrade) in order to go from World War II radar to new satellite guidance. It’s safer and allows you to fly more direct routes. You’ll see far fewer flights sitting on the tarmac waiting for takeoff because there’s a problem with air traffic control.”

Because these antiquated systems cannot trace planes in real time, Dorgan says a wider berth is needed to avoid disaster in mid-air and on the ground.

“We know where planes are if they have a transponder because they show up as a blip on the radar at that nanosecond. Until the radar sweeps around that tube again, the plane is probably ten miles away with a jet. We know only about where a plane is at the moment. If we have satellite guidance we will know exactly where an airplane is as we guide them across the sky.”

As part of their routine, U.S. air traffic controllers still physically pass slips of paper to each other to monitor aircraft. Canada discontinued that practice in 2012.

Dorgan is currently co-chair of the Aviation Working Group for the Eno Center for Transportation whose mission is to improve American transportation.

See Also:

Subscribe to KSOO-AM on

Best of KSOO

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KSOO VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KSOO VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.