Data Comm system helps manage air traffic in New York area

Data Communications (Data Comm), a NextGen technology that helps coordinate the busy airspace in the New York City area, especially in bad weather, will help air travelers and businesses as they travel this summer.

With the warmer summer months comes vacation travel for families and businesses. Also with summer weather come thunderstorms that are disruptive to flight plans and itineraries.

Even though the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cannot control the weather, staff members are using the latest technology to make travel and air traffic more efficient when summer storms strike.

Before flights can take off, staff in the air traffic control tower must clear pilots' flight plans. Sometimes the tower amends these plans, re-routing flights to avoid congestion or telling pilots to alter cruising altitude to maneuver around bad weather.

In the past, these communications have taken a significant amount of time. The air traffic controller must contact the pilot to verbally explain the new instructions, then the pilot must confirm the new instructions by entering them into the computer system of the aircraft.

Data Comm allows the air traffic controllers and pilots at Newark International Airport to relay flight plans and other important messages by simply touching a single button, eliminating the need for time-consuming verbal communication. This new method also increases safety by eliminating potential read-back errors and travel delays.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration 800 Independence Avenue Southwest Washington, DC - 20591

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