Aviation agency unveils electronic messaging system for pilots, controllers to reduce delays

Associated Press

Communications between air traffic controllers and pilots are undergoing a change aimed at cutting delays.

The Federal Aviation Administration demonstrated the Data Comm system at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday.

Continue Reading Below

The system is used to communicate alternate routes for planes awaiting takeoff that are heading toward bad weather. Currently, the information is given by voice and can take several minutes as the pilot copies it down and reads it back.

The new system allows controllers to transmit the information electronically with a few clicks. Controllers say it also reduces the chance of errors that can occur during voice communications.

The system has been in use at airports in Newark and Memphis, Tennessee, and is planned to be implemented at more than 50 other airports by the end of next year.