NASA has met with airport leaders to discuss implementing its aircraft flight scheduling technology to improve dependability for passengers.

Bill Nelson, NASA administrator, visited Orlando International Airport in Florida to discuss the roll out. In September, the technology that was tested during NASA’s Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) was transferred to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Large airports across the country – including Orlando International – are set to deploy the technology soon. 

Commenting on the roll out, Nelson said: “Our flight scheduling technology, which makes it possible for personnel to better coordinate the movements of aircraft while they’re at the airport, will soon help ensure more passengers get off the ground faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

NASA and the FAA completed nearly four years of surface operations research and testing to calculate gate pushbacks through time-based metering at busy hub airports. This means planes can roll directly to the runway to take off and avoid excessive taxi and hold times, reducing fuel use, emissions and passenger delays. 

The FAA plans to deploy NASA’s surface metering technology to 27 airports initially as part of a larger investment in airport surface management technology called the Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) programme.

Phil Brown, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said: “The anticipated roll out of the updated TFDM in 2023 aligns with our projections for returning to pre-pandemic passenger traffic the same year. These updates should result in a smoother experience for the traveling public and enhance ‘The Orlando Experience’ we strive to offer every day.”