It’s not uncommon for planes approaching some of Brazil’s busiest airports to travel miles out of the way while pilots wait for permission to land. It wastes fuel and everyone’s time. GE is working on a solution to help unclog the skies and improve the flow of air traffic.
GE Global Research, through its Brazil Technology Center in Rio de Janeiro, and GE Aviation Systems have launched a program called Green Skies of Brazil. It involves 10 key airports in southeastern Brazil and is the result of a 2-year national research initiative.
GE, along with the air navigation service provider DECEA, Brazilian regulator ANAC, trade organizations and the airlines, will work to identify operational efficiencies using data analytics. GOL is the first airline committed to the program and all qualified operators will be able to participate.
Researchers will use detailed airspace, airport and airline operational models to evaluate the efficiency of historical flight operations, identify areas for improvement, and quantify the potential efficiency gains in Brazil.
Using advanced flight management analytical tools developed at GE Global Research, airlines could realize sky-high cost savings. For instance, at Brasilia International Airport alone, GOL estimates that its planes could travel 22 miles less, saving 7.5 minutes, 77 gallons of fuel per approach compared to conventional flight paths. That totals more than $24 million in operational savings over 5 years.
Within Brazil, air travel is expected to grow 6.5% annually over the next 10 years. Add to that the influx of visitors expected when the country plays host to the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, and Brazil’s major aviation stakeholders recognize that airspace efficiency must be improved as quickly as possible.
Through the use of data analytics and the Industrial Internet, GE can help solve increased air traffic demands and help airlines reduce their operating costs and environmental footprint.