NASA Software Leads to Fuel Savings For Airlines

Monday - 11/8/2010, 12:41pm EST

Software developed at NASA's Ames Research Center is enabling fuel savings for airlines while also increasing their planes' environmental efficiency.

The Ames Direct-To software is a product of NASA aeronautics research in air traffic management. It enables airlines to save fuel and reduce emissions by automatically identifying flight shortcuts that are wind-favorable and acceptable to air traffic controllers.

It's already been adopted by the Boeing Company for commercial use. Their offering a new air traffic efficiency service that uses the software.

Project directors say they've estimated a potential combined savings of about 900 flying minutes per day for all aircraft using the software. That means a potential savings of tens of thousands of flight minutes per year for a medium-sized airline.