Southwest Airlines Looks To Reduce Fuel Cost & More
GPS navigation devices are already helping people who get lost, and GPS tracking systems are providing consumers/businesses a method to monitoring teen driving and employees, but now the satellite technology will be assisting Southwest Airlines pilots in the landing process.
Southwest has invested nearly $200 million dollars in a project that will flip the page from ground-to-plane communication-based landings to satellite-plane landings. The airline, which puts more people in the sky than any other airline in the world, believes that by making the switch to GPS-based technology the company will save millions of dollars annually on fuel costs.
The problem with the current system in place that uses radio signals transmitted from the ground to help pilots land planes is that the method is not extremely precise. GPS navigation and communication systems provide the solution, giving pilots and control towers a more efficient avenue to approach runways.
Many technology analysts also believe the GPS devices will reduce runway congestion, a major problem that results in irritated passengers, increased waiting for clearances, and delays.
The move by Southwest Airlines is all part of a collaborative effort by NASA, Dept. of Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to modernize the American airline industry.
Airplane Crash Black Box
Airplane GPS navigation systems and tracking software are critical in helping airline passengers have a safe flight back home wherever that is. Unfortunately, mechanical errors and pilot errors do occur, and that is why it is important that after an airplane accident that the black box is recovered, data is evaluated, and the mistakes made are never made again. This is what happened with the mysterious crash of Air France 447.
Although it took nearly 2 years of searching, the second black box belonging to Air France 447 was finally recovered by crash investigators from France. As investigators comb through the audio recordings and flight data recorded onto the black box they are hoping to uncover additional pieces to the puzzle on why the flight carrying 228 people plunged into the ocean, killing everyone on board.
Flight 447 left Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and was scheduled for a transatlantic flight to Paris, France when it is theorized the plane flew through a violent electrical storm that resulted in severe problems for the aircraft. Initially, aviation experts hypothesized that icing built upon external speed censors, providing the pilots with incorrect data readings and leading to the air catastrophe. However, many other experts placed culpability on a brutal electrical storm that was taking place off the eastern coast of the Brazilian country. Although investigators are still attempting to bring concrete answers to families who lost loved ones on the international flight, the French courts have already begun some finger-pointing by putting the European aircraft manufacturer of Flight 447, Airbus, under investigation for possible manslaughter charges. The case would be ground-breaking if French investigators placed the responsibility of the crash not on the storm or pilot error, but rather on the plane’s manufacturer.
When Flight 447 disappeared, many people were left scratching their heads how a plane could simply vanish without air traffic control or FAA crews knowing. This lead to a debate whether or not GPS tracking systems, the same type used for vehicle tracking and fleet management applications, should be implemented to transmit flight location data in real-time.
The missing black box was recovered by officials on Sunday through the help of an unmanned submarine that searched tirelessly along the seabed floor.
Source: voa news