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FAA reaches agreement with school for research efforts

July 6, 2010, 06:34 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration and Georgia Institute of Technology have reached an agreement to research the effects of the Next Generation Air Transportation System has on controllers and flight staff.

Georgia Tech will begin researching the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System under NextGen. The FAA plans to announce similar agreements with other educational institutions in the upcoming months.

TCAS is designed to help pilots avoid mid-air collisions. The researchers will investigate whether the technology will help allow aircraft to fly closer to one another, which is important as air traffic is expected to continue to increase. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics says that airline traffic rose 2.4 percent in March 2010 from March 2009.

Additional research will also look at how aircraft staff and controllers use and respond to automation.

NextGen is the government's response to handling the increased number of aircraft in the sky and safety. The technology utilizes satellites, rather than relying on ground radars. Satellites allow controllers to see the location of all flying aircraft regardless of where they are, says the FAA. This will allow plans to take more direct routes, which could provide environmental and cost benefits. ADNFCR-3158-ID-19876571-ADNFCR

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