The User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), a conflict-detection tool that automatically detects and advises air traffic controllers of predicted conflicts between aircraft or between aircraft and special activity in airspace within the National Airspace System, is now operating at all 20 FAA en route centers.
The strategic planning tool allows controllers to create alternative, conflict-free routings and to efficiently manage changing air traffic or weather conditions. With the help of URET, controllers can take a more strategic approach to assigning new routes by identifying conflicts in the immediate area and adjoining airspace. This strategic approach to assigning new routes helps reduce the number of changes required and reduces controller workload.
URET’s capabilities help pilots fly more user-preferred routes with fewer restrictions. Data from URET-equipped centers show that controllers are more likely to assign pilots direct routings, resulting in reduced flight times and fuel savings, by allowing aircraft to fly at more fuel-efficient altitudes.
From its 1999 inception through the end of this summer, URET had shortened routes by 89.5 nm, for savings estimated at $626.5 million. It also reduces the use of paper because it electronically displays the same flight management information as paper flight progress strips.