The Boeing Company has a proposal to bring fundamental change to air traffic systems that increasingly are overwhelmed by sheer numbers of flights and weather disruptions.
The proposal initially focuses on the U.S. air traffic system but will incorporate requirements for global applications.
The concept features “trajectories,” offering the ability to locate aircraft and predict where they will be with much higher precision and further into the future than ever before. This capability will be enhanced by an advanced system of satellites that for the first time integrates communications, navigation and surveillance or tracking data. The satellite system will augment existing Global Positioning System satellites and will enable the largest improvements to the air traffic system.
“The future of our core business – building and selling jetliners – is tied to the future of air traffic systems. So we have a vested interest. But more importantly, we believe there’s an achievable solution that provides greater safety, capacity and affordability, plus fewer delays,” said John Hayhurst, Boeing senior vice president and president of Air Traffic Management.
Hayhurst said the Boeing Air Traffic Management concept would benefit systems in Europe as well.
“Extremely precise trajectory data could help air traffic controllers manage with much greater efficiency the congested airspace near busy airports, such as Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt or Heathrow. There’s no question that Europe’s 33-plus air traffic systems present a different set of challenges, but the requirements for increased capacity, enhanced safety and fewer delays are the same as those of the United States,” said Hayhurst.
The Boeing concept will allow all air traffic system participants to have access to the same data, improving collaboration, negotiation and strategic planning. Air traffic controllers will have powerful tools and significantly better data to safely manage more traffic in larger sectors.
Boeing established its Air Traffic Management business unit in November 2000 to develop a revolutionary approach to managing air traffic. The organization has pulled leaders from the Boeing Joint Strike Fighter and Space Shuttle programs, and from Boeing Commercial Airplanes Sales and Marketing. It also consists of experts in airport and runway design, air traffic control, avionics system performance and safety analysis, and airspace procedures and routing. It includes an organization within Boeing that has been working air traffic issues with governments and private industry for more than two decades as well.
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