U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a significant NextGen milestone with the completion of En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), a highly advanced computer system used by air traffic controllers to safely manage high-altitude traffic. The first ERAM system went online at Salt Lake City Center in March 2012. The final installation was completed last month at New York Center.
ERAM is the backbone of operations at 20 of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) en route air traffic control centers. The system, a crucial foundation for NextGen, drives display screens used by air traffic controllers to safely manage and separate aircraft. It uses nearly two million lines of computer code to process critical data for controllers, including aircraft identity, altitude, speed and flight path. It almost doubles the number of flights that can be tracked and displayed to controllers. ERAM was designed to be the operating platform for other NextGen technologies, including:
Secretary Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta attributed the success of the development and installation of ERAM to the collaboration between FAA management and labor, including the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS). This collaborative process is now a blueprint that will be applied to the rollout of future technologies.
To see how ERAM works, view the FAA’s video: En Route Automation Forms NextGen Cornerstone