NASA and Alaska Airlines Test Fuel-Saving Software

Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) software recommends a reroute that would save both time and fuel on an Alaska Airlines flight. (Alaska Airlines/Ingrid Barrentine)

The Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) project, a partnership between NASA and Alaska Airlines, is testing NASA’s Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) software that merges and evaluates an unprecedented combination of real-time flight data to provide pilots with optimized flight path options.

Route optimization through TASAR offers a number of benefits, such as saving fuel and flight time, and helping pilots make better, more informed route requests to air traffic controllers. On five of its first six flights with Alaska Airlines, TAP software made reroute recommendations that reduced flight time or saved fuel, and more often than not, both.