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Mon, Sep 22, 2008

FAA: Better Traffic Management Reduces Delays

According to the FAA, passenger delays are being reduced thanks to a program that increases the efficient use of runway capacity at major airports. Airlines are reporting major savings in time – and money – because of Traffic Management Advisor (TMA), which analyzes traffic approaching an airport hundreds of miles away and calculates scheduled arrival times to maximize arrival capacity.

TMA’s metering capability has resulted in capacity increases of 3 to 5 percent – with some airports seeing even higher results. At Newark, where the system recently began operating, preliminary data shows TMA's time-based metering function is already helping reduce delays. One airline reports reduced flying time of four minutes per flight into Newark.

TMA is also expected to be up and running at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports next year.

TMA provides controllers with automated information on airport arrival demand and available capacity to improve sequencing and to better balance arrival and departure rates. Essentially, TMA evaluates the inventory that is scheduled for a particular airport.

Overall, ground delays and time in the air are reduced with TMA.

The benefit of TMA and its time-based metering capability can be seen mostly when demand exceeds capacity as the system calculates how best to flow traffic into an airport during each hour.

Using TMA, holding patterns have been reduced going into Phoenix. TMA has also been used to manage throughput for both arrivals and departures at Las Vegas.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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