FORT WORTH- American Airlines (AA) accommodates a record-breaking 7.8 million customers during Thanksgiving. It leverages the capabilities of machine learning to streamline taxi times, alleviate ramp congestion, and expedite aircraft arrival at gates.
The technology mitigates instances where incoming aircraft have to wait for an open gate, resulting in reduced tarmac wait times for American customers and more efficient journeys to their destinations.
American Airlines Thanksgiving Holiday Record
Devised by American’s Information Technology and Operations teams, the Smart Gating technology utilizes real-time flight information and various data points to automatically allocate arriving aircraft to the closest available gate with the briefest taxi time.
American initiated the tool’s testing at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in 2021. Since its implementation, the tool has successfully decreased aircraft taxi times at DFW by 20%, equivalent to approximately two minutes per flight.
These saved minutes accumulate significantly, as Smart Gating has assisted American in cutting down the time their aircraft spend taxiing at DFW by more than 11 hours daily.
Furthermore, it has substantially reduced gate conflicts and on-the-ground gate changes, where incoming aircraft typically wait for an open gate by more than half.
“We’re constantly seeking avenues for operational enhancement,” explained Anne Moroni, American’s Vice President of Operations Planning and Performance. “We make thousands of gating decisions each day. Streamlining ground processes ensures more customers can make their connections and allows us to optimize our resources efficiently.”
American has implemented the Smart Gating technology at its major hubs, including Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Miami International Airport (MIA), Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA), and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), tailoring it to suit the specific operational requirements at each location.
At DCA, where ramp space is constrained, Smart Gating has reduced instances of aircraft waiting at the gate due to ramp blockage by 70%. In CLT, the tool has trimmed aircraft taxi time by nearly a minute per flight and eliminated 11% of on-the-ground gate changes.
Smart Gating has revolutionized operations at our large hubs,” affirmed Sumit Batra, Managing Director of Operations Performance and Analytics at American. “This technology exemplifies American’s unwavering commitment to innovation.”
The implementation of Smart Gating allows American to cut down the total time aircraft spend taxiing by 17 hours daily, resulting in an estimated annual savings of 1.4 million gallons of jet fuel — equivalent to filling up 29 Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
Additionally, Smart Gating contributes to an annual reduction of more than 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions for American.
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