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November 19, 2014

FAA launches Next-Gen landing and take-off procedures for North Texas

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There is a new way to land at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Wednesday that it has launched new air-traffic routes in and out of North Texas airports that will reduce emissions and save airlines jet fuel.

The 80 take-off and landing procedures will save up to 4.1 million gallons of jet fuel each year and reduce carbon emissions by 41,000 metric tons a year, said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. The new procedures take advantage of GPS technology and new flight software technology on modern aircraft.

“Planes are flying fewer miles and they’re burning less fuel,” Huerta said. “Flights are arriving a little earlier than before and departures are able to get on their way even faster.”

Flight pathsThe FAA spent $5.5 million over the past 30 months working on the new procedures that have redesigned the airspace over North Texas airports. The agency worked with air traffic controllers, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth airport and pilots unions to create and test the new arrival and departure paths.

Previously, airplanes preparing to land at Dallas Love Field sometimes overlapped with the flight paths of airplanes arriving at DFW airport. With the new procedures, that issue has been resolved.

“Every flight that comes into DFW as a result of the programs we’re talking about today, will see a reduction of 300 to 500 pounds of fuel per flight, reducing our carbon emissions,” said American chief operating officer Robert Isom.

Passengers will likely notice a difference when the aircraft they are on descends into DFW. The new procedures allow pilots to almost idle engines as the aircraft continuously descends from 37,000 feet as it approaches the runway instead of descending to a certain altitude and leveling off and then descending again.

Dfw approachThe new procedures were put into place on September 18 and after 60 days, Isom said American has already seen improved on-time arrivals and departures reliability at DFW, its largest hub.

-Andrea Ahles

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