After developing several tools used in
many of the nation’s busiest airports and air traffic control centers, NASA
has completed its pioneering Advanced Air Transportation Technologies (AATT)

The AATT project was established in 1996 to improve air travel. It focused
on technology development to improve the capacity of transportation aircraft
operations at and between major airports within the National Airspace System.
During the past nine years, the AATT project worked with the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and the airline industry. It helped develop decision-
support tools for air traffic controllers, airline pilots and air operations
managers to handle the growing demand for safe and efficient air travel.

“NASA drew upon its aeronautics roots and engineering expertise to venture
into a different aspect of aeronautics research,” said NASA’s Associate
Administrator of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, J. Victor
Lebacqz. “AATT has established NASA as a technology development leader for the
modernization of the National Airspace System. We are building on that
expertise, as we continue to work with other agencies like the FAA.”

A tool developed by AATT, the Traffic Management Advisor, is operational
at eight Air Route Traffic Control Centers including Atlanta, Denver, Los
Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Oakland, Calif. These centers control high-
altitude aircraft approaching and departing an airport. The tool helps
controllers manage air traffic by sequencing aircraft, as they approach their
destination airport. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport realized a five
percent increase in arrival capacity since the tool’s implementation.

Another AATT tool, the Surface Management System, scheduled for transfer
to the FAA, is providing benefits for some of the nation’s largest cargo
carriers. The tool helps airport controllers and company traffic managers
coordinate and spread out aircraft departures from the gate to prevent delays
at the runway.

Other AATT technologies include tools that help aircraft fly the most
direct route to their destinations and help controllers and traffic managers
collaboratively manage in-flight aircraft. New communication and visualization
technologies also help by increasing understanding of air traffic patterns and
future trends.

“Although the AATT Project is officially completed, many technologies and
concepts developed by the project will be incorporated into the Next
Generation Air Transportation System,” added Mike Landis, manager of the AATT
Project. The project was managed by NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission

NASA continues work to transform the nation’s air transportation system to
meet the needs of the year 2025, while providing substantial near-term
benefits through its role in the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO).
The JPDO includes the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, Defense, and
Homeland Security; NASA; the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and
other experts from the public and private sectors. The JPDO mission is to
develop a national plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

For more information about the Advanced Air Transportation Technologies
Project visit:

For more information about the Joint Planning and Development Office, on
the Web, visit:

For more information about NASA, agency programs and the Aeronautics
Research Mission Directorate on the Web, visit: