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NASA Contribution: Air Traffic Management Tools

NASA-developed air traffic tools help get you home faster and support a safe, efficient airspace.

NASA-developed software tools deployed in the 1990s – CTAS, TMA –are the backbone of many air traffic control systems. They generate information for air traffic controllers and forecast arriving air traffic to help controllers plan for safe arrivals during peak periods at airports.

Today, NASA continues to work closely with the FAA to develop tools that help controllers guide aircraft through arrivals that use less fuel and generate less noise over communities around airports, and tools that could help aircraft leave the gate at a time that guarantees their arrival into their slot in the sky and reducing delays.

Real-life testing continues on a tool that controllers and pilots can use to find a more efficient way around bad weather, saving thousands of pounds of fuel and an average 27 minutes flying time per tested flight. Field simulations are also being done on a tool that better manages airport ground traffic to minimize delays on departures and arrivals.