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2017 Ashville Tower STARS Collage

Asheville Transitions to Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System

2017 Ashville Tower STARS Collage

AVL (Asheville, N.C.) recently transitioned from ARTS IIE to Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS). The transition went smoothly.

“We officially declared IOC on Friday the 13th, at 6:15a.m.” said FacRep Bryan Pierce. “So far there are no problems and everything is operating as it should be.”

It has been more than five years since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began implementing and deploying the latest version of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) at terminal air traffic control facilities across the country. Now, the Agency is in the home stretch of upgrading all eligible facilities with the foundational NextGen technology.

2017 Ashville TRACON STARS Collage

The agency began deploying an earlier version of STARS in the early 2000s, but put that effort on hold. Since 2012, the Terminal Automation and Replacement (TAMR) team has deployed the latest version at new facilities and upgraded previous versions.

TAMR replaces the 30-plus-year-old analog flight-tracking system at Terminal Radar Approach Control facilities (TRACONs) and control towers with a fully digital system that supports essential NextGen technologies, including Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). With these upgrades, air traffic controllers can more safely work aircraft on their scopes, which are now flat-panel LEDs that use STARS.