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FAA to install radarlike system at Meigs

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1997-09-26 Chicago Sun-Times.jpg

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The Federal Aviation Administration will install radarlike technology in the air traffic control tower at Meigs Field, officials said Thursday.

FAA spokeswoman Tanya Wagner said the system will be in operation by early next year.

Questions arose about the lack of radar technology at Meigs after an air crash killed seven people on two planes July 19.

Meigs is too small to install actual radar with a tall antenna and equipment shack, officials have said.

The new system, called TARDIS - Terminal Automated Radar Display and Information System - is not a true radar unit. It will receive information sent from the FAA's radar facility in Elgin over digitized telephone lines to a screen at Meigs. It will display airplane distance, altitude, speed and identification.

Early discussions had focused on the installation of a D-BRITE - Digital-Bright Radar Indicator Tower Equipment - system. The two systems are similar, but FAA officials decided D-BRITE had too many features that would go unused by Meigs controllers, so the less-expensive TARDIS technology was chosen. TARDIS starts at about $17,000, while D-BRITE costs $200,000, Wagner said.

Controllers at private contract towers such as Meigs are responsible for keeping aircraft apart during takeoffs and landings.

They are not responsible for separating the planes in the surrounding airspace. But if Meigs controllers do notice aircraft have strayed too close together, they are permitted to notify the pilots. The new system can "see" for miles.

At a tower operating under Visual Flight Rules, such as Meigs, pilots bear the primary responsibility for avoiding collisions under the "see and avoid rule," said John Calvin, director of tower operations for Midwest Air Traffic Control Services Inc., which runs Meigs' tower under a contract with the FAA.

TARDIS is the second piece of flight safety technology announced for the small airport in recent months. A computer-based Global Positioning System is being set up for Meigs to make landings safer when visibility is poor.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Jimenez, Gilbert (1997-09-26). FAA to install radarlike system at Meigs. Chicago Sun-Times p. 14.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Jimenez, Gilbert. "FAA to install radarlike system at Meigs." Chicago Sun-Times [add city] 1997-09-26, 14. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Jimenez, Gilbert. "FAA to install radarlike system at Meigs." Chicago Sun-Times, edition, sec., 1997-09-26
  • Turabian: Jimenez, Gilbert. "FAA to install radarlike system at Meigs." Chicago Sun-Times, 1997-09-26, section, 14 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=FAA to install radarlike system at Meigs | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/FAA_to_install_radarlike_system_at_Meigs | work=Chicago Sun-Times | pages=14 | date=1997-09-26 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 December 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=FAA to install radarlike system at Meigs | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/FAA_to_install_radarlike_system_at_Meigs | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 December 2019}}</ref>