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Traffic Information Services

Q. What is TIS?
A. TIS is an acronym for Traffic Information Services. This system incorporates the usage of a Mode S transponder with datalink capablities. The datalink traffic capabilities are accessed through the FAA’s Traffic Information Services. The TIS System is available through 124 Mode S Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar sites throughout the United States. Aircraft within a 60 nautical mile (expected to increase to 90+nm) radius of a Mode S radar site will receive traffic advisories and warnings from ATC via the Mode S datalink. This information can be displayed on most modern multi function displays. Although this system uses standard traffic symbology when used an MFD, this system is not to be confused with and cannot be used in place of TCAS (Traffic Collision and Avoidance System) which is required by certain types and classifications of aircraft.

Updated 03/28/03 - Links
NASA’s Safe Flight 21 Program Safe Flight 21
Multipurpose Broadcast Data Link MBDL
Garmin Aviation Technologies, formerly UPS Aviation Technologies, Formerly iimorrow)
UPS Presentation UPS PPT
Bendix King KMD-250 Product Page KMD250
AC 120-70 AC120-70

Updated 02/27/03 - Garmin
This news brief appeared on AOPA’s Vol 5 Issue 15
Avionics companies are jockeying to take advantage of new technology that brings traffic avoidance to the general aviation cockpit at a cost many times lower than that of similar systems in high-end aircraft. Using the FAA’s free traffic information service (TIS), air traffic information is sent to aircraft via a Mode S datalink from ground-based radar facilities. The airborne transponder receives the data and it is displayed on a screen. Basically, you see what controllers see. Two companies are now marketing TIS-capable transponders. Garmin was first to receive a supplemental type certificate (STC) for its GTX 330. Honeywell followed recently with the Bendix/King KT 73. Both units cost around $5,000 and are compatible with each respective company’s existing displays. They offer audible warnings when there’s a potential conflict with other aircraft. There are, however, gaps in coverage. The transponders derive data from radar installations located mostly in the East, Midwest, and California.

Garmin’s news release is here:
February 27, 2003 - Garmin First to Certify TIS-Enabled Mode S Transponder
TIS & GTX 330 News Release

Garmin’s GTX 330 Product Page GTX 330

Updated 01/03/03 - Honeywell
Honeywell Adds to Multifunction Display Family with Low-end KMD 250 Honeywell has introduced a new low-cost multifunction display that brings to non-radar-equipped piston aircraft the functionality of the company’s Bendix/King integrated hazard awareness system (IHAS). The KMD 250 measures just three inches high and features a color active-matrix LCD capable of interfacing with a variety of safety avionics. Honeywell cites the availability of datalink weather through the FAA’s Flight Information Service (FIS) project and traffic either through the Traffic Information Service (TIS) program or a traffic-advisory system as among the unit’s key features. The KMD 250 will also allow pilots to switch directly to map, weather or traffic screens by using a joystick controller that lets the user point, scroll and move a cursor around the screen. Slated to make its market debut in the spring, the KMD 250 joins the Bendix/King KMD 550 and 850 line of displays for high-performance general aviation aircraft. List price for the MFD is expected to be less than $5,000.