Flying just got more convenient. With help from NASA, air travel woes could become a thing of the past. Currently, a software made by NASA is being rolled out in multiple airports in the United States to offer better prediction of flight conditions and to improve ease for both airport authorities and travellers.
On Tuesday, US aviation officials announced that the NASA software programme will soon be deployed at 27 hub airports in US cities including Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Denver, and Miami. Officials also said that the programme is aimed at decreasing carbon emissions from flights by developing a better understanding of flight conditions.
Using space strategies on Earth
Officially called the Integrated Arrival, Departure, and Surface (IADS) management system, the software was developed by NASA in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through an experimental project at three hub airports in the US.
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According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, the idea came from strategies used to travel in space. Based on this approach, the process would become more streamlined. Aircraft would continue to fly straight up to the required elevation of the flight instead of following a step-by-step approach.
“You’re going to take off and you’re not going to stair-step up. You’re going to constantly go up to your flight elevation,” Nelson was quoted as saying by Flying.
Apparently, this approach not only saves time but also maximises usage of aircraft to reduce maintenance demands and emissions. The results of the programme are quite astonishing. For instance, at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, with help from this programme, the authorities saved more than 275,000 gallons of fuel every year.
In addition, it was able to cut 8 tons of CO2 emissions daily. There’s more. Flying claims that this move helped reduce delays by 916 hours. According to the FAA, this reduction in delays reduced taxiway waiting time by 15 minutes for 3,600 outgoing planes.
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The whole idea is based on modern tweaks to the current air traffic control mechanisms and creating a more accurate relationship between flights that may be landing at the airport and the ones departing. Information such as flight schedules are analysed in a real time view instead of being dealt with in a boxed manner.
Such streamlined capabilities could bring relief to every country in the world where air traffic is heavy and infrastructure not viable for all traffic. India too could benefit from a similar approach where flight cancellations are common. According to Statista, air taxis account for 61.29 per cent of all cancellations in India, followed by Air India at 16.34 per cent, and Vistara at 9.29 per cent.
India also needs expansion of access to air travel, something that such programmes may enable in the long run.
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