FAA NextGen Metroplex Initiative Lands in Florida

 - September 25, 2012, 3:55 PM

The FAA announced a collaborative public-private NextGen effort at Florida’s major airports late last week that will increase safety and efficiency while reducing aircraft emissions. Dubbed NextGen metroplex, the initiative will improve the flow of air traffic into and out of airports in the Miami, Orlando and Tampa metropolitan areas. Similar metroplex projects are under way or planned in numerous metropolitan areas across the U.S., the FAA added.

This initiative is based on performance-based navigation (PBN), a key component of NextGen, that enables pilots to fly aircraft at more efficient routes using satellite navigation and on-board flight management systems. PBN allows shorter, more direct routes that reduce flight time, fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

According to the FAA, more direct routings and more efficient aircraft descents into the Florida metroplex will save eight million gallons of fuel annually, which equates to an 80,000-metric-ton reduction in carbon emissions and an estimated $23 million in fuel cost savings for aircraft operators. In addition, the FAA estimates that 5.4 million fewer nautical miles will be flown in and out of Florida based on current flight plan miles filed.

The Florida Metroplex study area includes six airports–Orlando International, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers–and nine satellite airports: Boca Raton, Daytona Beach, Kissimmee, Marco Island, Naples, Orlando Executive, Orlando Sanford, Sarasota Bradenton and Stuart Witham Field.