FAA Issues Alert for Transponder Use

On May 19, the FAA issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) that advises all operators and pilots of the need to ensure that transponders are in the altitude reporting mode whenever their aircraft is on an airport movement area at all airports. Runway safety systems, such as Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X (ASDE-X), use data from surface movement radar and aircraft transponders to obtain accurate aircraft and vehicle locations, thereby increasing airport surface safety and efficiency.

Pilots should ensure their checklists reference transponders in the appropriate places and consult their aircraft’s flight manual to determine the specific transponder position to enable altitude reporting. For more information, you can read the full SAFO here: http://go.usa.gov/3XGxA.