MILWAUKEE, WI U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman
Y. Mineta Monday (Feb. 9) visited Mitchell International Airport
to introduce its new air traffic control technology and reiterate
the Administrations commitment to improvements aimed
at reducing airspace congestion nationwide.
During a visit to the airports air traffic control
facility, the Secretary said that Mitchell International is
the nations first airport to use a new runway safety
tool known as the Airport Surface Detection Equipment Model-X
(ASDE-X) system that will help reduce costly air traffic delays
and maximize safety for passengers traveling into and out
of the airport.
If planes dont move because of bad weather or
congestion, the economy doesnt move and that
Thats why this Administration is committed to strengthening
and improving the capacity of our airspace to avoid gridlock
and keep our economy strong, Secretary Mineta said.
The Secretary said the Presidents recently announced
FY 2005 budget for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
makes a modern and efficient system a key priority.
This year, the Presidents budget will support $3.3
billion in grants for airport capacity, safety and environmental
improvements, as well as $700 million in Airport Improvement
Program (AIP) funds for investments in new technologies and
runways to prevent gridlock in the skies, he said.
ASDE-X creates a complete, up-to-the-minute map of all airport
operations that controllers use to spot potential collisions
and ensure aviation safety on the ground, and is especially
helpful to controllers at night or in bad weather when visibility
The airport also recently introduced new, digital color radar
technology called the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement
This important new technology will help minimize costly
air traffic delays and maximize safety for passengers at Mitchell
International, said Secretary Mineta. A strong
economy depends on a strong aviation system.
This year, the Department of Transportation will deploy ASDE-X
at four other major airports in Orlando; St. Louis; Charlotte,
North Carolina; and Providence, Rhode Island, with 12 more
installations planned in Fiscal Year 2005. And, in the next
two years, the Department expects to bring STARS to 16 more
airports around the country.
The work being accomplished in Milwaukee reflects the
Administrations commitment to modernization efforts
across the country, he said. We are harnessing
technology and converting it into more usable capacity in
the airspace system.