NextGen Tests Advance To New Phase

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The FAA said last week it is ready to move into a new phase of its testing for the NextGen system, specifying precise times at which aircraft will cross a navigation fix. The new flight tests will be conducted starting this fall, in cooperation with Embry Riddle's aviation consortium, the FAA said. The new technology, called "4D trajectory based operations," will optimize an aircraft's flight path from takeoff to landing, the FAA said, improving efficiency and capacity in the national airspace system. "It also gets to the heart of the Next Generation Air Transportation System: moving aircraft from Point A to Point B with greater efficiency, saving time, money and fuel," the FAA said.

Flight demonstrations of the new flight management system will help researchers determine how well aircraft avionics predict and execute the optimum trajectory of an aircraft while sharing the information with ground systems. The results will help them to better understand how well aircraft systems are able to compute the most efficient path between Point A and Point B and comply with time constraints.