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NASA to help airlines save time, reduce fuel

KEY POINTS

  • Traffic Aware Planner app connects to plane’s information hub
  • It reads plane’s current position, altitude and flight route to propose changes
  • System proved beneficial in initial test flight from Virginia to Kentucky

NASA has developed software which could help airlines save time and reduce fuel consumption. The application is called Traffic Aware Planner. It connects directly to the avionics information hub on the aircraft to read the plane’s current position, altitude and the flight route. After combining this info with wind forecasts and weather conditions, the app looks for route or altitude changes that could save fuel or flight time. These solutions are displayed directly to the flight crew. Virgin America and Alaska Airlines will test the software over the next three years.