New tech will help airports survive surging air travel
The pandemic forced many airports to delay or cancel new runway projects. Photo: Getty Images
Leidos and NATS are expanding their Intelligent Approach software that helps air traffic controllers increase runway capacity and reduce delays.
Thousands of summer flights were delayed or canceled amid “Travel Armageddon.”
The challenge: Surging air travel, inclement weather, limited runway capacity and even space launches can disrupt normal airport operations.
Leidos technologist Daniel Barber said the challenge is especially difficult on air traffic teams that became accustomed to reduced volumes during the pandemic.
Airports across Europe are reportedly experiencing up to 100,000 minutes of delays a week.
Barber estimates every 17-minute flight delay costs airlines nearly two thousand dollars, and that a five minute delay can create up to a ton of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Leidos impact: With Intelligent Approach, air traffic controllers can land up to four more aircraft per hour.
- Its distance-based separation feature creates visual indicators to improve spacing of incoming aircraft.
- Its time-based separation feature reduces lost spacing capacity, often caused by extreme headwinds, by up to 60%.
Intelligent Approach launched at Heathrow Airport in 2015 and Toronto’s Pearson International Airport earlier this year.
From the sources:
- “Intelligent Approach adds tactical capacity to help reduce delays, fuel burn and CO2 emissions,” said Leidos Vice President Graham Emmons. “Alongside NATS, we continue to develop new capabilities for Intelligent Approach. The new mixed-mode module will allow airports to optimise spacing across both arriving and departing aircraft on a single runway.”
- “As the industry now begins to recover from the impact of COVID-19, it has never been more important for airports to make the very best of their existing infrastructure,” said Guy Adams, NATS Strategy and Commercial Director.
Looking ahead: Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will adopt the software this winter.
Please contact the Leidos media relations team for more information.