Satellite-based air-traffic control systems now being used over much of the world's oceans offer a glimpse into the benefits of NextGen, The Wall Street Journal reports. In the U.S., Lockheed Martin's ATOP, or Advanced Technology and Oceanic Procedures, has been in use on oceanic routes for four years, saving airlines some 10 million gallons of fuel by allowing more direct flight paths. The system automates altitude changes and other routine pilot requests, freeing controllers for more essential duties. "It's really changed the way we do business," says an FAA official in Oakland, Calif.
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