Today: A flight from New York to Seattle with a Host flight plan filed by the user is checked for route constraints only within the area of the local departure facility. A controller is able to access information to respond to pilot requests by opening and closing multiple views. Information on the flight is only available to controllers within the same facility, hampering efficient coordination.
Tomorrow: A flight from New York to Seattle with an ERAM flight plan filed by the user is checked for route constraints for the entire flight. A controller is able to access information to respond to pilot requests by simultaneously reading multiple views arranged more efficiently. Information on the flight is available to all controllers regardless of facility location, helping coordination.
En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) replaces the 40-year-old En Route Host computer and backup system used at 20 FAA Air Route Traffic Control Centers nationwide. As such, the transition to ERAM is one of the most complex, challenging, and ambitious programs deployed by FAA in recent times. In effect, this transition represents a live transplant of the "heart" of today's air traffic control system while continuing safe and efficient flight operations for the flying public.
ERAM technology is the heart of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and the pulse of the National Airspace System (NAS), helping to advance our transition from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system of air traffic management.
ERAM is vital to the future of air navigation, providing the platform required for FAA to evolve to NextGen, via programs including System Wide Information Management, Data Communications, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance- Broadcast, which depend on a successful ERAM deployment.
As ERAM evolves, it will provide benefits for users and the flying public by increasing air traffic flow and improving automated navigation and conflict detection services, both of which are vital to meeting future demand and preventing gridlock and delays.
ERAM will increase capacity and improve efficiency in our skies. En Route controllers will be able to track 1,900 aircraft at a time instead of the current 1,100 flight capability. Additionally, coverage will extend beyond facility boundaries, enabling controllers to handle traffic more efficiently. This extended coverage is possible because ERAM will process data from 64 radars versus the 24 radar processing with the Host system.
For pilots, ERAM increases flexible routing around congestion, weather, and other restrictions. Real-time air traffic management and information-sharing on flight restrictions improves airlines' ability to plan flights with minimal changes. Reduced vectoring and increased radar coverage leads to smoother, faster, and more costefficient flights.
For controllers, ERAM provides a user-friendly interface with customizable displays. Trajectory modeling is more accurate, allowing maximum airspace use, better conflict detection and improved decision making. ERAM substantially increases the number of flights that can be tracked. Two functionally-identical channels with dual redundancy eliminate a single point of failure. ERAM also revolutionizes controller training with a realistic, high-fidelity system that challenges developmentals with complex approaches, maneuvers, and simulated pilot scenarios that are unavailable using today's system.
Air traffic controllers and facilities are the backbone of safe NAS operations, transporting the flying public to their destinations efficiently. With ERAM, controllers will benefit from reduced workloads and stress, increased collaboration, and seamless data sharing between Centers.
ERAM Acquisition Control Team
Page Last Modified: 11/16/10 10:23 EST
This page can be viewed online at: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/technology/eram/