NASA's Langley Research Centre plans to issue a task order to Sensis to perform a cost-benefit analysis, integration study and human-in-the-loop simulation of "airportal" concepts.

Part of the next generation air transportation system (NextGen) programme, the airportal project aims to optimise the use of gates, taxiways, runways and "metroplex" airspace. A metroplex is defined as two or more adjacent airports whose arrival and departure operations are highly interdependent.

Focus areas for airportal research include safe and efficient surface operations (SESO) to maximise airport throughput, coordinated arrival and departure operations management (CADOM) to maximise single and multiple airport capacity, and management of airportal and metroplex integration (AMI).

Funding is being provided through $1 billion NASA received from the Obama administration's $787 billion economic stimulus package approved by the US Congress in 2009. The value of the contract was not provided.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news