NASA Software Promotes Airline Fuel Efficiency

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- Software developed at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., is enabling major fuel savings for airlines and an increase in environmental efficiency.

The Ames Direct-To software is a product of NASA aeronautics research in air traffic management. The software has been adopted by The Boeing Company for commercial use. Boeing intends to offer airlines the opportunity to subscribe next year to a new air traffic efficiency service that uses the software.

"We're delighted that Boeing is using NASA technology for
environmental benefit," said Ames Center Director Pete Worden.

Direct-To enables airlines to save fuel and reduce emissions by
automatically identifying flight route shortcuts that are
wind-favorable and acceptable to air traffic controllers. NASA
demonstrated Direct-To's potential to reduce fuel consumption in the
airspace around Dallas-Fort Worth in 2001.

"We estimated a potential combined savings of about 900 flying minutes
per day for all aircraft in the demonstration airspace," said David
McNally, the project principal investigator at Ames.

Boeing incorporated the technology into its subscription-based Direct
Routes. It is part of the company's InFlight Optimization Services
that help airlines save fuel and increase environmental efficiency.

Direct Routes automatically alerts an airline's operations center and
flight crew when a simple, more fuel-efficient path opens up along an
airplane's intended route. The software potentially could save tens
of thousands of flight minutes per year for a medium-sized U.S. operator.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


Source: NASA

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