The transfer of NASA-developed technology to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help make air travel more efficient may not help unsnarl your Thanksgiving travel plans this year, but help is on the way.

To improve air traffic scheduling dependability for passengers, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Greater Orlando (Fla.) Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown plan to discuss implementing the NASA-developed flight scheduling technology on November 24.

As part of an effort to boost efficiency of air travel, NASA has transferred findings from an air traffic management project to the FAA for nationwide implementation. In September, NASA’s Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) was transferred to the FAA, with implementation at airports across the country slated to begin in 2023.

The FAA plans to deploy the NASA-developed technology as part of a larger investment in surface management technology to 27 airports, including Orlando International, a part of the FAA’s Terminal Flight Data Manager program.

“Improved efficiency and shifting departure wait time from the taxiway to the gate saves fuel, reduces emissions, and gives airlines and passengers more flexibility in the period before leaving the gate,” NASA stated in a press release.

NASA and the FAA spent nearly four years researching and testing surface operations to calculate gate pushbacks through time-based metering at busy hub airports, so that planes can roll directly to the runway to take off and avoid excessive taxi and hold times, reduce fuel use and emissions, and help rein in passenger delays.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.