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31-Aug-2018 8:53 AM

Alaska Airlines partners with NASA for more efficient routes

Alaska Airlines announced (30-Aug-2018) plans to partner with NASA to invest in aircraft technology capable of selection optimal routes in real time. NASA's new 'Traffic Aware Planner' software, part of its 'Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests' (TASAR) programme, is able to automatically monitor potential flight trajectory improvements while in flight, check if more efficient routes are available, connect with aircraft avionics and scan broadcast signals of nearby air traffic to assess potential conflicts and pass required information on to pilots to help gain permission to make necessary route changes. The system is capable of saving from 8000 to 12,000 gallons of fuel and 900 to 1300 minutes of flying per aircraft p/a. The software is undergoing trials on three Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ERs aircraft with "promising" results. NASA research engineer David Wing said: "TASAR allows more efficient flying without adding more work for those on the flight deck or those in the control centre". Operational evaluation of the system on Alaska Airlines flights began on 24-Jul-2018 and is expected to last till Sep-2020. [more - original PR]

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