STARS operational in Philadelphia

The first Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, a milestone in the Federal Aviation Administration's effort to modernize air traffic control systems, was rolled out today at Philadelphia International Airport.

STARS replaces outdated technology with new color displays, processors and computer software at controller facilities nationwide. The system synchronizes data from up to 16 different radars, captures accurate local weather and tracks up to 1,350 airplanes over a 60-mile radius, according to FAA officials.

The new system is installed in the Philadelphia Terminal Radar Approach Control, which controls aircraft within 60 miles of surrounding airspace. Using STARS, controllers can sequence aircraft, provide traffic alerts and weather advisories, and guide arriving and departing traffic, FAA officials said.

STARS eventually will replace computers and displays at more than 300 air traffic control facilities nationwide. Systems will also be deployed this year at airports in Portland, Ore.; Boston; Miami; Milwaukee, Wis.; Port Columbus, Ohio; San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle/Tacoma, Wash.

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