MIT, PASSUR Analyze Surface Departure Metering At JFK

Sept. 1, 2011
Estimated Annual Savings: 14,800 Fewer Hours Taxiing
MIT, PASSUR Study Shows Significant Benefits of Surface Departure Metering

MIT, PASSUR Study Shows Significant Benefits of Surface Departure Metering

Estimated Annual Savings: 14,800 Fewer Hours Taxiing, Resulting in $10MM-15MM in Lower Fuel Costs and a Reduction of 48,000 Metric Tons CO2

PR Newswire

STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has released a detailed study on the significant fuel and carbon reduction benefits of surface departure metering at JFK International Airport. The departure metering program at JFK is a collaboration among the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the FAA, the airlines operating at JFK and PASSUR Aerospace, under the overall leadership of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The MIT study compared taxi out times, fuel burn, and emissions before and after the implementation of the metering program, based on data gathered over six months of operation of the departure metering program at JFK, which was compared to twelve months of operational data before the program was implemented. Highlights of the results are:

  • Lower fuel bills for airlines: an estimated $10MM-$15MM annual savings across all the carriers involved in the metering program (using a range of $2-$3/gallon cost of aviation fuel), due to the "engines off virtual queue." Per-carrier savings will vary depending on their actual proportion of the schedule and fleet mix.
  • Greener operations: 5 million fewer gallons of fuel burned per year, resulting in a reduction of 48,000 metric tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere per year, derived from "engines off virtual queuing."
  • Improved passenger experience: 14,800 fewer total departure taxi hours per year, resulting from flights that remain at the gate with passengers in the departure lounge (or sometimes at a remote metering pad) followed by a lower active taxi time when they are released, rather than joining an extended active taxi queue.

The proprietary program uses a combination of software, process management, and a manned operations center staffed by a PASSUR professional services team to create a "virtual departure queue" in which departures are "metered" by holding flights either at the gate or in a common metering area, rather than queuing in an extended line of aircraft with engines on. Once aircraft enter the active taxiway, they are ready to depart quickly, in a shorter taxi queue with less fuel burn. "Virtual queuing" ensures that a flight's position in the departure line-up, and its planned runway departure time, are both preserved, even though the aircraft is not physically out on the active taxiway.

PASSUR assisted in the MIT study through the provision of data as well as guidance on the analytical methodology and results interpretation based on PASSUR's design, implementation and operation of the departure metering program at JFK.

The study was conducted by researchers from MIT Lincoln Laboratory and MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics who are undertaking benefits assessment of surface congestion management systems at a large number of airports in the U.S. in support of the Tower Flight Data Manager (TFDM) system being prototyped at MIT Lincoln Laboratory to help meet the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) objectives. The JFK study was also complementary to MIT's own field demonstrations of a departure metering concept at Boston Logan airport. These studies are part of a broader set of gate-to-gate operational mitigation areas under exploration, which also includes advanced departure, cruise and approach operations.

For a summary of the study design, methodology and results, or to address questions, please contact either Dr. Tom Reynolds of MIT at 617-253-7422/781-981-4288 or Ron Dunsky of PASSUR Aerospace at 203-622-4086. Briefing slides providing key results from the study are posted on the PASSUR website at and a technical paper reporting the detailed results of the study will be published at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference in Virginia Beach in September.

About MIT Lincoln Laboratory

MIT Lincoln Laboratory, situated in Lexington, MA, 14 miles west of MIT campus, is a federally funded research and development center chartered to apply advanced technology to problems of national security. Research and development activities focus on long-term technology development as well as rapid system prototyping and demonstration. The Laboratory works with industry to transition new concepts and technology for system development and deployment.

About MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

From its founding as the first university aeronautics course in the United States, the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro) has been at the forefront of the most exciting developments in air and space technology, such as developing the Apollo guidance and navigation systems in the 1960s and leading today's efforts to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment. Through a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, AeroAstro continues to redefine the future of air and space transportation, exploration, communication, and national security.

About PASSUR Aerospace

PASSUR Aerospace, Inc. is a business intelligence company, which provides predictive analytics built on proprietary algorithms and on the concurrent integration and simultaneous mining of multiple databases. PASSUR believes it provides the industry standard in business intelligence dashboards and predictive analytics for aviation organizations. PASSUR serves dozens of airlines (including 5 of the top 6 North American airlines, and all 5 of the top hub carriers), more than 50 airport customers (including 22 of the top 30 North American airports), approximately 200 corporate aviation customers, as well as the U.S. Government, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). PASSUR's system is driven by proprietary, patented, business intelligence software, powered by a unique North American network of 154 passive radars, company owned, with a radar covering 98 of the top 100 North American airports. Other PASSURs are located in Europe and Asia. Flight tracks are updated every 4.6 seconds, thereby providing a system which is user friendly and useful for decision-making.

Visit PASSUR Aerospace's website at for updated products, solutions, and PASSUR news.

The forward-looking statements in this press release relating to management's expectations and beliefs are based on preliminary information and management assumptions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a wide range of risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ in material respects, including those related to customer needs, budgetary constraints, competitive pressures, the success of airline trials, the profitable use of the Company's owned PASSURs located at major airports, the Company's maintenance of above-average quality of its product and services, as well as potential regulatory changes. Further information regarding factors that could affect the Company's results is contained in the Company's SEC filings, including the October 31, 2010 Form 10-K and April, 30, 2011 Form 10-Q.


Ron Dunsky
(203) 622-4086
[email protected]

SOURCE PASSUR Aerospace, Inc.