Schumer wants US airplane tracking system modernized

The News Leader

February 5, 2011 5:34:43 PM PST
There are calls to modernize the nation's airplane tracking system after a jumbo jet and two military transport planes nearly collided.

Investigators say the close-call happened January 20th over the Atlantic ocean, 80 miles southeast of New York.

An American Airlines jumbo jet, headed to Brazil, took off from Kennedy airport.

The military planes were going to McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey.

Investigators say the planes came within a mile of each other.

On Saturday, Senator Charles Schumer called the current radar tracking system "antiquated" and said it must be replaced.

"The GPS system, which uses radar from satellites, is used by just about every western country and even countries like Mongolia, but the United States has not installed it and uses a radar system that is 40 years old," Senator Schumer said.

Senator Schumer also said next week Congress will begin debate on a so-called "FAA Modernization" bill that will call for replacing radar with GPS.