Friday, March 17, 2017

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Westchester County Airport implements NextGen technology to enhance safety

NEW YORK – Data Comm, the NextGen technology that enhances safety and reduces delays by dramatically improving the way air traffic controllers and pilots talk to one another, is up and running at Westchester County Airport. The White Plains facility is one of five of the first to receive the technology upgrade. The others are JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Teterboro.

Nine domestic airlines at the New York airports use airplanes with the new technology – Jet Blue, American, Alaska, Delta, FedEx, Southwest, United, UPS and Virgin America. A total of 22 international airlines also use the NextGen technology.

The new system uses digital messages to communicate between air traffic controllers and pilots instead of the current voice communications. That shaves an average of 13 minutes per flight in New York during times of heavy congestion, typically caused by bad weather.

When NextGen technology was being discussed for the New York area a few years ago, the Stewart Airport Commission asked the FAA to consider the Newburgh airport as a hub for the system.

Data Comm is now operational at 55 air traffic control towers nationwide. Because the rollout was under budget and more than 2 ½ years ahead of schedule, the FAA will deploy the system at seven additional airports. They were not identified with the announcement on Wednesday.

 


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