Monthly Archives

August 2016

Monthly Archives: August 2016

ADS-B and Privacy – Not All Datalinks are Created Equal

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Privacy, by definition is the quality or state of being free from company or observation. Privacy is something most of us value – especially in this digital age where information about us is so readily available and searchable to anyone with internet connectivity. The introduction of digital network technology into National Airspace System (NAS) Traffic Management provides a lot of benefits including more accurate and timely information about aircraft position. This allows for improved utilization of the NAS, increasing both capacity and safety. The heart of the system is Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS-B). ADS-B equipped aircraft transmit messages containing information about themselves to both other aircraft and to the ground Air Traffic Control infrastructure. In addition to the basics of position, altitude and velocity, these messages also include identification data, specifically the aircraft’s unique 24-bit identifier or “ICAO code” and flight ID – either a call sign or the N-number. The privacy implications are clear – as we fly, we are telling the world who we are and where we are. But do the advantages of improved airspace utilization and increased safety have to come at the expense of your privacy? Contrary to popular belief the answer is no, they…

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