An airport vehicle identification system for improving airport traffic management and collision avoidance, includes a ground surveillance radar and a plurality of low power frequency translators located in spaced relationship about the surface of the airport. The radar system transmits a conventional radar signal for target detection and a beacon interrogation signal for target detection. Each translator is designed to bandshift the interrogation signal to a frequency value compatible with the vehicle transponder, and transmit the bandshifted interrogation signal to the vehicle transponder. Each frequency translator is bi-directional and receives a transponder reply signal indicative of vehicle identity and bandshifts the reply signal to a frequency value compatible with the ground surveillance radar and transmits the bandshifted reply signal to the ground radar. This invention fills the critical void in airport traffic control of providing ground controllers with electronic airport ground surveillance data which includes both vehicle position and identity.