Airlines, the FAA and Technology I Always Assumed Existed

Products,travel by on September 10, 2008 at 10:48 pm

I’m so immersed in the the high-tech world that I assume the implementation of obvious ideas has penetrated most other industries.

I was surprised to learn recently that air traffic controllers have to form a mental picture of weather patterns and flight paths in order to decide which flights to ground and which to allow to take off. From this Wired Article:

… the current system, in which an air traffic controller must take weather information from multiple sources and create a mental picture to determine how it will impact different flight paths.

Fortunately, a few researchers from MIT are taking the obvious step and putting weather systems, forecasts and flight paths into an easy to use interface (ok, so the interface isn’t exactly easy to use, but it sure beats a mental picture):

It is being tested in NYC and in ~3 months it has already saved 2300 hrs of delays ($7.5M in operational cost savings).


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