NASA Spinoff

Advisory Systems Save Time, Fuel for Airlines

“There are thousands of opportunities every day in the system that are currently left unrealized because neither the pilot nor controller is actively looking for them,” says Lewis. “Neither pilot nor controller has the full set of information. Direct Routes can automatically look at it all and insert the advisory within the normal operating procedure.”

The advisories made by Direct Routes are transmitted using existing communication channels and are designed to comply with current operating procedures. There are also no regulatory changes and minimal new equipment required. “There’s a small amount of start-up and readiness preparation, but no capital investment on the part of the airlines. In general, if an airline starts the service, it starts seeing fuel savings immediately,” says Lewis.

Direct Routes is currently available as a subscription service. Potential customers including aircraft flying in U.S. airspace such as commercial airlines, business aviation, military, general aviation, and international flights—many of which are already in discussion with Boeing about Direct Routes. “They all have opportunities to take shorter routes,” says Lewis. “Direct Routes is an ideal application of government investment plus some industry innovation. The result is real savings to airlines, passengers, and the environment.”