JetBlue goes NextGen
Up to 35 A320s operated by JetBlue will be outfitted with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, according to a NextGen agreement singed by two parties. JetBlue paid $4.2 million for the service and will also fund crew training and simulation time.
The satellite-based system will allow pilots to fly routes even when traditional radar coverage is not available because the new surveillance devices pinpoint the exact location of each aircraft. JetBlue's announcement is just the first step in what the FAA hopes will be a complete, hi-tech makeover of the nation's airline tracking systems.
“In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for targeted investments that harness American innovation to strengthen our nation. NextGen is a critical investment in the future of our transportation system, one that uses the latest technology to transform our airspace to make aviation safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
“NextGen will help improve the travel experience for passengers and give airlines more flexibility to find the most efficient way to reach their destinations," the FAA's Randy Babbitt added. “This agreement will allow us to collect important data to further demonstrate the benefits of NextGen.”
JetBlue also announced this week that it will use the Jacksonville International Airport as its newest inbound and outbound cargo station. The location will help JetBlue's transfers to Boston and New York as well as its daily service to San Juan, Puerto Rico, which will begin in May.