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Boeing-COMAC Center launches two new projects to support efficient air traffic management in China

Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) announced that the Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center will conduct two new research projects on air traffic management to support the long-term efficiency, capacity and safety of China’s air traffic system.

The Boeing-COMAC Technology Center, the companies’ collaborative effort to support commercial aviation industry growth, will work with Civil Aviation University of China (CAUC) to forecast the 30-year capacity of China’s national airspace system.

This research will develop evaluation tools to predict trends of future airspace development and provide recommendations for improving the national airspace system. CAUC is administered by the Civil Aviation Administration of China and hosts the National Key Laboratory of Operation Safety Technology.

The Boeing-COMAC Technology Center will also work with Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which hosts the National Key Laboratory of Air Traffic Flow Management Technology, on development of an air traffic decision support system to optimize in-bound air traffic flow at airports. Successful outcomes from this project will help air traffic controllers determine the most efficient arrival sequences and enhance flight safety by providing better situational awareness.

The Boeing-COMAC Technology Center previously announced research to identify contaminants in waste cooking oil, which is sometimes called “gutter oil” in China, and processes that may treat and clean it for use as jet fuel. (Earlier post.) Funded by both companies and located in COMAC’s BASTRI, the Boeing-COMAC Technology Center is working with China-based universities and research institutions to expand knowledge in areas such as sustainable aviation biofuels and air traffic management that improve commercial aviation’s efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

China is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets. The Civil Aviation Administration of China has reported that passenger traffic reached 319 million in 2012 and forecasts that it will reach 1.5 billion passengers in 2030. Boeing has estimated that Chinese airlines will need to buy 5,260 new commercial airplanes by 2031 to meet this demand.



Commercial airplanes produce about 2% to 4% of the GHG and is increasing slowly as the size of the world fleet and usage time (flight hours) are increasing.

Improved air traffic control procedures can effectively reduce ground movements and flight times. Direct (GPS) flights at most economic altitude, shorter direct approaches, reduced take-off and landing delays, use of favored strip to reduce on ground time etc have been used for 20+ years.

Much more can be done with:

a. Improved inter-airlines flight planning to reduce take-off and landing peaks and associated delays.

b. More parallel strips for simultaneous landings and take-off to reduce landing and take-off delays.

c. An improved international agreement to allow more direct (GPS) flights at most economical altitudes for given flights + essential air traffic control info systems to avoid near miss and collisions.

d. Improved aircraft design (MIT/NASA design) to reduce fuel consumption by up 40%.

e. Use more efficient Turbo-Jets (like the Q-400) for short flights instead of pure Jets.

f. Use more efficient ultra high speed e-trains to transport people and priority cargo for 1000 Km or less.

g. etc.

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