|By Carmelo Turdo|
The recurring theme of the forum was the need to maintain open communication between pilots and air traffic controllers while navigating through the various airspace levels around St. Louis. The basic rules of airmanship provide guidance on aircraft operations in and out of controlled airspace, and timely notification of a pilot's intentions to the appropriate air traffic control facility begins what should be a routine and safe clearance. Clear communication, including read-back of instructions and a request for clarification if needed, is essential for the system to function effectively.
As of now, the U.S. air traffic control system does not utilize ADS-B for primary operations (although data is available for reference), and no formal training program for controllers is yet in place. The St. Louis area radar network continues to provide effective coverage for designated controlled airspace, and it remains unclear if or when ADS-B will play a more prominent role in air traffic control operations after the mandatory aircraft upgrades are completed.
The Elite Aviation Speaker Series provides an opportunity for the aviation community to come together and interact with industry experts and FAA representatives to improve the safety and enjoyment of flying. The topics are timely, the speakers are current in their field and the interactive format allows for direct participation in the advancement of knowledge. The next Elite Speaker Series event is scheduled for July 19.