ADS-B, TCAS ‘Unreliable’ in U.S. Southeast

Military testing impacts traffic avoidance technology.

The FAA is warning pilots flying in the Southeast that ADS-B and TCAS traffic avoidance technology will be disrupted the entire month of September from Virginia to Florida because of “military activities.”

The National Business Aviation Association is complaining that such testing needs to be preceded by more warning. The FAA’s NOTAM on the signal disruption was posted less than 24 hours before the tests started on September 2.

The NOTAM states that TCAS might fail to establish tracks on nearby aircraft and may not see aircraft that would normally trigger a TCAS resolution. False alerts, however, are not expected to be triggered during the military exercise.

The FAA is advising pilots flying in the affected area to “maintain increased visual awareness” and to treat all traffic alerts as real. If a pilot believes a midair collision was possible and no TCAS resolution advisory was issued, the FAA wants that information to be communicated to ATC.

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