NASA and its partners have opened a new airspace technology demonstration laboratory at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in an effort to help centralize the arrival and departure of aircraft.
The laboratory is part of the federal government’s NextGen initiative and built to help coordinate schedules between the ramp, tower, terminal and center control facilities to minimize congestion, NASA said Friday.
The ATD-2 lab aims to ensure that the domestic aviation system can accommodate an estimated more than four billion additional travelers from across the world over the next 20 years.
“The work that will be accomplished in this demonstration lab could be a game changer in terms of reducing airport congestion, which is good for passengers and for business,” said Charles Bolden, NASA administrator.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport has a record of 45 million passengers that fly through the hub every year and the ATD-2 testing at the airport seeks to help balance air traffic.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Bolden, the Federal Aviation Administration, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, American Airlines and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport led the opening of the laboratory.