Careers Career Paths TIS-B Explained: Traffic Information System Broadcast for NextGen Share PINTEREST Email Print Photo © FAA Career Paths Aviation Technology Careers Sports Careers Sales Project Management Professional Writer Music Careers Media Legal Careers US Military Careers Government Careers Finance Careers Fiction Writing Careers Entertainment Careers Criminology Careers Book Publishing Animal Careers Advertising Learn More By Sarina Houston Sarina Houston Twitter Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, Aviation Writer Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Sarina Houston was the aviation expert for The Balance Careers. She is a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 12/19/18 TIS-B, or Traffic Information System-Broadcast, is a data broadcasting service that allows aircraft operators to receive traffic information in near-real time. Along with its partner system FIS-B, TIS-B is being offered at no cost to ADS-B users as part of the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). TIS-B is a traffic reporting system that uses ADS-B ground stations and radar data to transmit aircraft position data to aircraft cockpit displays. In essence, TIS-B will allow pilots in the cockpit to see what the air traffic controller sees - other aircraft, along with those aircraft's altitudes, direction, and speed vectors on their aircraft's display screen. How TIS-B Works TIS-B data is transmitted from a ground station to all ADS-B equipped aircraft, whether the aircraft uses a 1090 MHz ES link or a 978 MHz UAT data link. The traffic information is taken from radar sensors on ground stations and broadcasts through ADS-B data links to aircraft. The aircraft's ADS-B receiver will interpret the data and display it onto a screen in the cockpit. The actual interface on which TIS-B will be displayed will vary with the various different types of avionics on the market today, but it will most likely be incorporated into a flight management system or an electronic flight bag (EFB) to some standard degree. Typically, traffic is displayed as a small triangle with a line showing the aircraft's direction and speed, and the altitude readout somewhere next to the aircraft's triangle icon. Equipment Pilots who want to receive TIS-B information on their airplanes must be equipped with a compatible ADS-B transmitter (ADS-B Out) and receiver (ADS-B In), or a transceiver (both). ADS-B requires a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and a transponder when one is not already included with the ASD-B unit. A compatible cockpit display (CDIT) is also needed to display the traffic in graphic format. Limitations There are a few limitations that exist with TIS-B that pilots should be aware of when flying: TIS-B is advisory in natureTIS-B is only available within the service areas configured for TIS-B and while within the coverage area of at least one ATC radar unit.Radar lags behind ADS-B when it comes to updates. Since ADS-B updates about once per second and radar updates every three to 13 seconds, it's possible that aircraft pilots might see a target of their own aircraft when maneuvering before ATC is aware of the same target. TIS-B uses both ADS-B data and radar data. At times, the messages received from ADS-B and radar can be slightly different from each other and interpreted inaccurately. This can result in duplicate traffic figures on the display.Aircraft must be equipped with an operable transponder to appear as a target on a display. The FAA warns pilots that TIS-B is not a replacement for standard traffic separation and avoidance techniques. Unlike TCAS, TIS-B does not give traffic collision guidance and traffic avoidance maneuvers are not authorized. Pilots should remember that traffic avoidance maneuvers are not authorized as a response to TIS-B displays, and ATC violations may occur in the event that a pilot deviates from his or her assigned instructions.