Bombardier Flexjet has become the first nonscheduled operator to successfully transmit real-time flight-intent data to the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) near Washington Dulles International Airport. This data gives the agency more predictable information with which to make traffic-flow-management decisions each day. The fractional aircraft company operates a fleet of more than 100 aircraft.
Airlines have had the capability since 1996 to electronically communicate flight-intent messages to the ATCSCC, including daily flight schedules, changes, updates, cancellations and other pertinent company information that might affect its operations in the National Airspace System (NAS). Heretofore, nonscheduled operators have not been able to participate in this electronic data sharing.
“Flexjet is the first of what will be several more non-FAR Part 121 operators and flight-plan service providers to connect to the FAA over the next several months,” said NBAA. “This growing data sharing will significantly increase the FAA’s ability to manage the [NAS] more efficiently, and it strongly demonstrates the business aviation community’s commitment to participating as a full partner with the airlines in traffic-flow management.”
Flexjet was among the first business aviation participants in the FAA’s collaborative decision-making (CDM) process, although not quite in real time. As a subscriber to the NBAA general aviation desk co-located at the command center, its flight-intent information could be folded into the CDM process.
In sharing flight-intent data, said NBAA, Flexjet is helping the air-travel system by giving the FAA more information with which to make traffic-flow management decisions that include nonscheduled operator intentions. This data also can be used to improve strategic planning and better analyze high-demand situations that may result in fewer delays to both Flexjet and other CDM NAS operators.
NBAA established the GA desk in August 2001 to represent the aviation interests of its member companies to the ATCSCC staff and various ATC facilities throughout the U.S. The desk is a member service that provides representation and participation in real-time national airspace flow control and decision making.