Press Release

Media Invited to See NASA Air Traffic Management Technology in Action in Washington State

By SpaceRef Editor
February 2, 2017
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NASA is in Washington state to test a new aircraft technology that could help airlines reduce air traffic delays and air traffic controller workloads. Media are invited to learn about the new software during an in-flight test Thursday, Feb. 9.

In a series of flights called Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1 (ATD-1), NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is testing airborne flight deck interval management software with the help of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation partners.

The month-long campaign involves three planes: a Boeing 757 and business jet supplied by Honeywell, and a Boeing 737 provided by United Airlines. The aircraft are based at King County International and Seattle-Tacoma International Airports in Seattle, but the flight test will take place about 120 miles east, over Grant County International Airport.

Media are invited to ride aboard the Honeywell 757, leaving from King County International Airport at 8 a.m. PST on Feb. 9, to observe the technology in flight, however seats are limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, media must contact Kathy Barnstorff at [email protected] or 757-344-8511 no later than noon EST Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The Boeing aircraft are equipped with NASA-developed software that can more precisely and safely manage the arrival of aircraft to airports. The business jet, flying lead, will broadcast its speed and position information to the 757 and 737, and the two larger airplanes will follow, allowing the test software to automatically calculate the speeds and distances the pilots must maintain between aircraft. That information is displayed on a tablet computer in the cockpit.

The goal of the research is to help airplanes spend less time in the air – saving money on fuel and reducing noise and engine emissions – while increasing efficiency and reducing delays.

The software and flight tests were developed by researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and are part of the Airspace Technology Demonstration Project managed from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.

For more information about the flight test, go to:

For more information about NASA Aeronautics projects, go to:

SpaceRef staff editor.