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Air traffic improvements

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a high tech system to manage congested air traffic and flight procedures that would reduce fuel, time and pollution.

Satellite-based air traffic control

Pilots flying
properly
equipped aircraft
will be able to
see on their
cockpit displays
where they are
in relation to
other aircraft.

The ground
receivers then
relay the
locations to air
traffic controllers
and other aircraft.
Controllers will
know the
positions of
aircraft at all
times.

Aircraft send their
precise locations to
global positioning
satellites, which
immediately
transmit the data to
ground receivers.

Ground
station

Air traffic
control

Aircraft-
to- aircraft

Global
positioning
satellite

Communication
satellite

Improved landings: A key benefit
New air traffic control procedures and technology will allow aircraft to make carefully controlled angled descents for landing with engines set at idle. The procedure eliminates the stair-stepped method of repeatedly descending and accelerating to level off as planes approach the airport.

Stair-step landings
increase miles flown,
fuel consumption and
air pollution

A more direct descent
reduces landing time,
saves fuel and cuts
carbon emissions.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration
Graphics reporting by Graphics reporting by Dan Weikel


Lorena Elebee / @latimesgraphics

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