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New Software Eliminates Taxi Delays

Improved Traffic Management Saves Time, Fuel for Operators

The FAA has announced its new traffic control software aimed at minimizing ground delays in airports across the country.

The system is only one component of the upcoming Terminal Flight Data Manager Program, but expected to roll out independently in test locations in the near future. Using this software, an aircraft will be able to arrive with minimal delay, land, taxi directly to a gate, and push back for takeoff, all without lengthy waiting times on the taxiway. 

Previously, the choreography required to optimize aircraft flow and minimize wasted space would have been too complex, but successful testing shows that recent improvements in traffic control allow for more precise tracking and movement. In a test at Charlotte Douglas International, the program saved approximately 275,000 gallons, enough fuel to make a 737 trip from New York to Chicago 185 times. Implementation is planned at 27 airports in the future, as TFDM capabilities are integrated into the greater Air Traffic Control System.

While specifics are limited, this program could prove to be one of the most cost effective changes in aviation in years. Few changes could benefit so many different groups at once: Operators increase their percentage of on-time departure, saving ~7 million gallons of fuel that would otherwise be wasted; passengers save an estimated 15 minutes of waiting time on the taxiway; and the world sees 75,000 fewer tons of CO2 emissions per year. 



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