HOUSTON, TX – Alright jet-setters, listen up, your flights into Houston are about to get a whole lot smoother. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox is in town unveiling a new air traffic system designed to be smoother, cleaner and more efficient.
“We’re going from a WWII avionics system into a 21st century GPS system,” Secretary Foxx told reporters at Houston’s TRACON center.
In a city with as many airports as ours, planes on arrival have to do a step-down procedure, descending, then leveling-off, then descending again in order to avoid other planes — a process that burns fuel and time. The new system will allow planes bound for Houston to roll-back their engines as far as 100 miles out and simply glide all the way to the ground.
“So we’re cruising at 38,000 feet and suddenly you have the pilot come over the PA address and say we’re beginning our initial approach into Houston,” Airport System Director Mario Diaz describes, “and you hear the engines power back. I never heard the engines again, the next thing I knew, we were touching down on the runway.”
But implementing that system means teaching pilots and controllers a whole new way of doing business.
The new system only works on planes outfitted with the new equipment and is expected to save airlines fuel. but you know how these things go, don’t hold your breath waiting to see the savings passed on to you.