parameters, each aircraft will be assigned a "protected" zone that will extend ahead,
to the sides and above and below the aircraft. This zone will be the only separation
area protected for each aircraft. This differs from the current system that assigns fixed
airway dimensions and routes for separation.Assuming that each aircraft is equipped with an accurate flight management system
(FMS), free flight proposes that each aircraft transmit to ground controllers its FMS-
derived position. On the ground, computer workstations will evaluate the positional
data to determine whether any aircraft conflicts are predicted to exist, and if so, offer
a resolution instruction to the air traffic controller. The controller may then evaluate
this information and pass along appropriate separation instructions to the aircraft
involved.The free flight concept is still being developed, but if found feasible will soon be
implemented at higher altitudes within the U.S. airspace structure. As confidence in
the system is gained, it will likely be extended overseas and into the low-altitude flight
Federal Aviation Administration. ( 1976). Takeoff at mid-century. Washington, DC: Department of Transportation.
Federal Aviation Administration. ( 1978). Bonfires to beacons. Washington, DC: Department of Transportation.
Federal Aviation Administration. ( 1979). Turbulence aloft. Washington, DC: Department of Transportation.
Federal Aviation Administration. ( 1980). Safe, separated and soaring. Washington, DC: Department of
Federal Aviation Administration. ( 1987). Troubled passage. Washington, DC: Department of Transportation.
International Civil Aviation Organization. (various). ICAO Bulletin, Montreal, Canada.
International Civil Aviation Organization. (various). Annexes to the Convention of International Civil Aviation. Montreal, Canada: Author.
Jackson W. E. ( 1970). The federal airways system. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Nolan M. S. ( 1994). Fundamentals of air traffic control. Wadsworth.
Other FAA Publications
| Aeronautical Information Publication ( 1988)|
| Air Traffic Handbook ( 1995)|
| National Airspace System Plan ( 1988)|