The Federal Aviation Administration is upgrading air traffic control systems in Myrtle Beach, S.C., using the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS).
STARS is part of the FAA’s NextGen program, which seeks to improve technologies and practices in airports across the United States to make air travel safer and more efficient. STARS allows air traffic controllers to use one platform that gives them a picture of the airspace.
STARS makes it easier to introduce new systems, increases safety, and decreases training, support, and maintenance costs. STARS gets data from 255 radar control facilities and hundreds of airport control towers to provide information to surrounding pilots in the surrounding airspace. The information that gets distributed includes separation and sequencing of air traffic, conflict and terrain avoidance alerts, weather advisories, and radar vectoring for departing and arriving traffic.
The Myrtle Beach International Airport receives radar information about the airspace that encompasses a 69-mile radius around the airport from three radar sites. The FAA Myrtle Beach International Airport Traffic Control Tower handled 227,082 operations in 2015.