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What is CDTI in Aviation? (Cockpit Display Of Traffic Information)

Updated: February 20, 2024

The Importance of Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI)

The Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) is a vital component of modern aviation technology. It provides pilots with crucial real-time information about the position, altitude, and velocity of nearby aircraft. This enables pilots to be aware of potential traffic conflicts, make informed decisions, and enhance overall flight safety. In this article, we will explore the significance of CDTI in aviation and its impact on pilot situational awareness.

Enhancing Pilot Situational Awareness

CDTI plays a pivotal role in enhancing pilot situational awareness by providing them with a comprehensive view of the surrounding airspace. It combines data from various sources, including Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), to create a visual representation of nearby aircraft on the cockpit display.

With CDTI, pilots can easily identify potential conflicts and take proactive measures to avoid them. The display shows the relative altitude, direction, and speed of other aircraft, allowing pilots to quickly assess the situation and make informed decisions. By having this real-time information readily available, pilots can maintain a high level of situational awareness, reducing the risk of mid-air collisions and near-miss incidents.

Integration of ADS-B Technology

One of the key technologies that enable CDTI functionality is Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). ADS-B uses GPS technology to determine an aircraft's precise position and broadcasts it to other nearby aircraft and air traffic control.

By integrating ADS-B data into the CDTI system, pilots can receive accurate and up-to-date information about the location and intentions of other aircraft operating in the vicinity. This technology allows for improved traffic awareness, especially in areas with limited radar coverage, such as remote or mountainous regions.

ADS-B also enables the display of traffic information from both equipped and non-equipped aircraft. Equipped aircraft transmit their position information, which is received by other ADS-B equipped aircraft and displayed on their CDTI. Non-equipped aircraft, on the other hand, can still be detected by ground-based ADS-B receivers, providing a more comprehensive picture of the airspace.

Integration with TCAS

Another critical component of CDTI is its integration with the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). TCAS is an independent system that uses radar technology to detect nearby aircraft and provides alerts to pilots for potential collision threats.

CDTI enhances the functionality of TCAS by displaying the traffic information directly on the cockpit display. This integration allows pilots to have a consolidated view of both TCAS alerts and ADS-B traffic information, enabling them to prioritize and respond to potential threats effectively.

When a TCAS resolution advisory is generated, CDTI can provide additional information about the intruder aircraft, such as its altitude and direction, allowing pilots to make informed decisions about the appropriate course of action. This integration greatly enhances the pilot's ability to respond to traffic conflicts promptly and safely.


The Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) is a crucial tool in modern aviation that significantly enhances pilot situational awareness. By providing real-time information about the position, altitude, and velocity of nearby aircraft, CDTI enables pilots to make informed decisions and avoid potential traffic conflicts. The integration of ADS-B and TCAS technologies further enhances the functionality of CDTI, providing pilots with a comprehensive view of the airspace and improving overall flight safety. As aviation continues to evolve, the importance of CDTI in enhancing pilot awareness and reducing the risk of mid-air collisions cannot be overstated.

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