Rollin’ to the Runway Live Event

Administrator Stephen M Dickson (August 12, 2019 - present)

Thank you, Senator Nelson. I’m happy to be here with everybody.

The thing about aviation is … it’s a team sport. And we are lucky that NASA is on our team. We are better for it … and we are safer for it. 

Senator Nelson, I’m grateful for your partnership and your agency’s partnership … because that is why we are here today. 

We are here to show how our collaboration in using technology and data –and working with airports and airlines –has led to a promising technology that is going to result in a more sustainable aviation system, a safer system, and a better passenger experience overall. 

The climate crisis isn’t something we can leave to the next generation. My wife and I just welcomed our fourth grandchild in the last few weeks!

The capability that we have been testing for the last few years … and that we plan to deploy across more airports as part of a larger surface traffic management system … shows that we aren’t standing by. This capability reduces aircraft fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions. And it shaves minutes of time off each flight. 

This software calculates when it is best to have the aircraft pushback from the gate at busy hub airports, so that they can roll right to the runway. With this capability, we can reduce taxi delays and ramp congestion.  

And after takeoff, this system enables air traffic controllers to merge you right into the stream of jet traffic. 

The flight crew loves it.

The passengers love it. 
And we’re documenting great results. 

For instance, at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, this system generated enough fuel savings each year for 185 flights between New York and Chicago by a Boeing 737. Very impressive!

This system also shaved off 15 minutes of waiting time on a taxiway for more than 3,600 departing flights.  

As part of the FAA’s Terminal Flight Data Manager system, we will deploy this new surface management capability at 27 hub airports across the country.

If you do the math, the numbers get very big, very fast – in a good way. Across these 27 airports, we estimate a savings of more than 7 million gallons of fuel, and the elimination of more than 75,000 tons of CO2 emissions, every year.

The research and testing of this technology shows how we can use advanced data analytics to make flying more efficient, more sustainable and safer. 

These kinds of data analytic technologies can put us in a position to make countless other improvements in aviation, and offer greater value for the American public whom we serve.  

Again, I want to thank NASA for partnering with us to develop, demonstrate, and now deploy this technology. Members of the airport and airline community were also great team members in this effort, and you will hear from them today as well. 

Next, we’re going to see a brief animation video that illustrates this capability. After that, we’ll hear from the airports that have been partners on this work.