New Charlotte Douglas Airport traffic technology equals speedier arrivals

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – As millions of passengers travel through Charlotte-Douglas Airport, NASA and the FAA have been making strides behind the scenes to save millions of gallons of fuel and hours of time in delays.

The ATD-2 system was implemented at Charlotte-Douglas and in Dallas to minimize the time planes sit on the ground and get to cruising altitude.

IADS, Integrated Arrival Departure Surface movement technology was implemented to seamlessly depart the gate, leave the ground, and land at its destination without having to go through complex arrival and departure procedures. NASA told FOX 46 was chosen for a test location because of its proximity to multiple en-route air traffic control centers.

“The ATD-2 systems both in Charlotte and Dallas are all focused on delay savings, reducing time spent with engines running.”

American Airlines teamed up with the FAA and NASA to bridge the gap between how flights are treated in the dispatch environment at the air carrier level and how air traffic controllers handle flights. American Airlines says their work with the ATD-2 program will mean more flexibility in flight planning. More than 1,000,000 gallons of saved jet fuel and carbon emissions.

“What ATD-2 is allowing us to do is react to changing conditions and to continually optimize our routes up until the point of takeoff. This requires an extreme amount of coordination between the airlines and ATC.”

The way planes take off and join en-route traffic will greatly improve the controller’s ability to sequence planes according to a NATCA (Air Traffic Controller Union) representative. 

“We can make better decisions regarding where to sequence airplanes in overhead sequences when to reroute them out of different departure gates.”

The ATD-2 system will gradually rollout at airports across the country as ‘NextGen” software and technology gets implemented across the country in the coming years.

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