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A Tech Upgrade for Air Traffic Control Systems

As we write, one of the busiest holiday travel periods is underway, with millions of travelers taking to the skies.

This places air traffic control systems under greater pressure to deliver the additional passengers safely and on time. And with the global population rising, the job is becoming more challenging.

In the United States alone, there are 90,000 flights per day and Boeing (BA) says the number of aircraft flying will double over the next 15 to 20 years.

Result? More congestion.

But Boeing has a tech solution to cut delays and pollution. It’s called Tailored Arrivals – a system of specific landing paths for aircraft, based on performance, traffic and weather.

Boeing’s lead engineer for the program, Rob Mead, says:

“We allow dynamic generation of arrival paths into busy airports and that allows us to reduce emissions, reduce noise and make for a cheaper ride. The conventional [landing] approach… burns an awful lot more fuel, creates emissions and is less predictable. We smooth that out to make it a nice gradual descent.”

Boeing says its Tailored Arrivals tests have saved six airlines 3.3 million pounds of fuel and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 10.4 million pounds.