Paper to 2018 Transportation Research Board Conference.
Air transportation is vital for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs), connecting remote, scattered and small islands over large distances across the Pacific Ocean. Many of the PICs are developing countries or small island states, which lack the necessary funds to install and maintain modern radar-based air traffic surveillance systems. Because potential ground-based radar locations are limited and there is a lack of funds to install radar, air traffic surveillance is limited to voice based procedural control. As part of a major regional program to improve PIC aviation safety and security, the World Bank is financing the installation of ADS-B systems, which are satellite based surveillance technology. The use of ADS-B—which costs a fraction of traditional radar systems—allows developing and emerging countries to dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of air traffic surveillance. This paper outlines how ADS-B based air traffic surveillance was implemented in five PICs. It explains what ground technology was installed, and what avionics upgrades were necessary in aircraft. It also touches on the regulatory aspects. The model used here is readily replicable to other developing and emerging countries.