GPS Technology Could Ease Future Weather Delays At SFO

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Wednesday’s stormy weather across the Bay Area is causing problems on the roads and major delays at San Francisco International Airport, with flight delays of up to three hours in some cases.

A newly-approved nationwide software could soon make these types of delays a thing of the past.

NextGen is a new generation of air traffic control software just approved for the Federal Aviation Administration that uses more accurate GPS instead of radar to track planes.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

San Francisco International Airport spokesman Mike McCarron said that means more planes can fly closer together.

“The aircraft will report its own position every second. Right now, the radar is about every four seconds,” McCarron said. “It’s a lot more accurate. The radar has a lot more inherent errors which means we need more separation in bad weather to make sure the planes are as far apart as they are so they don’t have any problems. GPS will allow planes to fly tighter and eventually, delays like today could be a thing of the past.”

The technology is expected to be phased in over the next 8-10 years.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Holly Quan
  • makfan

    I really hope so. It’s a travesty when a light rain storm causes hours of delays for everyone unlucky enough to choose that day to travel to/from SFO.

    Today’s storm system is more intense and delays are understandable. But there are days when just some typical Bay Area fog causes delays of an hour.

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