"This system will allow pilots to fly search and rescue
missions in weather conditions that would have
previously kept them grounded," said Acting FAA
Administrator Michael Huerta. "It also will support
Colorado's tourism by enabling pilots to land in
conditions that previously caused diversions or flight
"We are constantly looking for ways to improve
efficiencies," said CDOT Aeronautics Division Director
David Gordon. "Partnering with the FAA on applying this
new and improved surveillance will translate into more
efficient flight paths, saved time, reduced fuel burn
and enhanced economic benefits to our mountain resort
communities and airports."
WAM is a NextGen technology that tracks aircraft using a
network of small sensors deployed in remote areas.
Aircraft transponders receive and send back signals to
these sensors. System computers immediately analyze
those signals and determine the aircraft's precise
The Colorado Department of
Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, paid for the
sensor site preparation and the system's equipment,
power and telecommunications. The FAA maintains and
operates the system.
The NextGen program uses cutting-edge technology to
create a modern, satellite-based air traffic control
system, transforming the national airspace to make
it even safer and more efficient for the traveling
public, airports and operators, resulting in
benefits to the U.S. economy. NextGen initiatives
underway in major regions across the country are
helping to deliver more on-time flights, reduce fuel
burn and ensure that the U.S. has the safest
aviation system in the world.