Planning the future airport

What will airports of the future look like?

With new types of aircraft in development, heightened security concerns and the growing demand for non-stop flights, airports may look radically different in the future.

On Sept. 8-9, 2005, experts from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the nation’s airports will gather at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., for the NASA/Industry Airport Planning Workshop to discuss ways to improve future airports. During the two-day conference, keynote speakers and expert panelists will discuss how advances in technology, new government guidelines, and user testing and feedback can affect airport planning and expansion.

Future Flight Central To evaluate plans for airports of the future, NASA uses FutureFlight Central, a two-story facility located at NASA Ames that can offer a 360-degree, full-scale view and real-time simulation of any airport in the world. Once an airport is entered into the facility’s supercomputer, virtual experimentation can begin. At this virtual airport, actual controllers, pilots and airport personnel can test new procedures, technologies and airport expansion designs – before any construction begins.

How will new runways affect on-time arrivals and departures? Will a new control tower provide a better view of the runways? How will a new ‘super jumbo’ airplane impact airport surface delay? Will new air traffic control software streamline airport operations? At NASA’s FutureFlight Central, these questions and more can be asked, thoroughly evaluated and answered, giving airport planners and designers the confidence to proceed.

FutureFlight Central has successfully completed evaluations of software upgrades and expansion plans in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration, for Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles International airports. Plans are underway for Chicago O’Hare International Airport as well.


The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.