Flightradar24 Blog

NASA Completes ATD-1 Flight Testing

Share this article

NASA, Honeywell, Boeing, and United Airlines spent the month of February testing a new technology that could enable more aircraft to safely land at an airport in a given time period. The tool, Flight Deck Interval Management (FIM), is being developed as part of NASA’s larger Air Traffic Management (ATM) Technology Demonstration – 1 (ATD-1).

According to NASA,

The prototype hardware and software is designed to automatically provide pilots with more precise spacing information on approach into a busy airport so that more planes can safely land in a given time. The technology is intended to help airplanes spend less time in the air, save money on fuel, and reduce engine emissions – all while improving schedule efficiency to help passengers arrive on time.

You can see the technology in action (and a quick cameo from Flightradar24) in the video below.

Follow the Leader

The tests over Washington involved three aircraft, a Honeywell 757 and Falcon 900 and a United Airlines 737. The three aircraft worked in concert to test the FIM technology on dozens of simulated approaches to Grant County Airport in Moses Lake.

Flight paths of all three aircraft during a day of FIM testing.

After flying enough to circle the earth four times, NASA reports the technology worked as expected and they are conducting additional data review. When eventually put in to practice, the technology could help enable more efficient flight paths and cut flight time in the terminal area.


Photo credits: N757HW, N889H, N37420

On The Radar Logo

Get the latest aviation news delivered to you

Get the latest aviation news delivered to you

Flight tracking and aviation industry news direct to your inbox

Aviation news comes quickly, so join more than 600,000 others who receive weekly aviation industry and flight tracking news from Flightradar24 direct to their inbox.

Share this article

Useful flight tracking glossary

View our glossary of terms which you may encounter either on our site or in aviation in general that we hope enriches your flight tracking experience.

About Flightradar24

Flightradar24 is a global flight tracking service that provides you with real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world.

Don't miss out on the latest Flightradar24 videos!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our latest videos as soon as they’re published!

Latest video
On The Radar Logo
Get weekly updates on Flightradar24 and have the latest aviation news land in your inbox.

How flight tracking works

Flightradar24 combines data from several data sources including ADS-B, MLAT and radar data.
Search the blog
Trending articles
Follow us
Latest AvTalk Podcasts
Related news

Flight tracking top 10 aircraft

Explore the top 10 most tracked aircraft and find out why these particular aircraft draw so much interest.

Help to grow our flight tracking coverage

We are continually looking to improve our flight tracking and the airports below are where new receivers will add the most coverage. Apply for a receiver today and if accepted you’ll receiver a free Flightradar24 Business Subscription.

Free ADS-B Receiver
Flightradar24 logo
Try the full Flightradar24 experience free for 7 days
Remove ads and unlock over 50 additional features
On The Radar Logo

Get the Flightradar24 Aviation newsletter

Flight tracking and aviation industry news direct to your inbox

Aviation news comes quickly, so we want to bring more of the aviation world to you with our weekly Flightradar24 aviation newsletter - On The Radar.

On The Radar Logo