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Federal aviation agency studying Tampa Bay area air routes

April 17, 2019 / Richard Danielson

For now, tracking planes flying into or out of the Tampa Bay area's airports means air traffic controllers looking at ground-based radar and talking with pilots on the radio. The future will involve GPS tracking coordinated by 24 satellites. Controllers will still use radar, too, but their communication will be more detailed text messaging with pilots in the air. And the result, the Federal Aviation Administration says, will be like going from using fold-out maps to plan a family vacation to downloading a GPS app like WAZE to get a better sense of the best routes and real-time traffic information that could affect the trip.