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American Airlines: Straight to the gate this holiday season

  • AA
  • Smart Gating helps team members at American’s Hub Control Centers assign gates to thousands of aircraft every day.

Smart gating technology keeps American moving during its busiest-ever Thanksgiving season.

As American Airlines welcomes a record-breaking 7.8 million customers over the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s harnessing the power of machine learning to shorten taxi times, reduce ramp congestion and help aircraft get to gates faster. The technology minimizes situations where arriving aircraft must wait for an available gate, which means American’s customers spend less time waiting on the tarmac and more time getting to their final destinations.

Developed by American’s Information Technology and Operations teams, Smart Gating technology uses real-time flight information and other data points to automatically assign arriving aircraft to the nearest available gate with the shortest taxi time. American first started testing the tool at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in 2021. Since then, the tool has helped the carrier shorten aircraft taxi times at DFW by 20% or about two minutes per flight. Those minutes add up — Smart Gating has helped American reduce the amount of time its aircraft spend taxiing at DFW by more than 11 hours each day. It has also reduced gate conflicts and on-the-ground gate changes, where arriving aircraft must wait for an available gate, by more than half.

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“We’re always looking for ways to drive operational improvement,” said Anne Moroni, American’s Vice President of Operations Planning and Performance. “We make gating decisions thousands of times a day. Saving precious time on the ground ensures more customers make their connections and we use our resources efficiently.”

American has also deployed Smart Gating technology at its hubs at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Miami International Airport (MIA), Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), where it is tailored to meet the needs of the operation. At DCA, where ramp space is limited, Smart Gating has reduced instances where an aircraft must wait at the gate due to another aircraft blocking the ramp by 70%. At CLT, the tool reduced aircraft taxi time by nearly a minute per flight and eliminated 11% of on-the-ground ground gate changes.

“Smart Gating has been a game changer at our large hubs,” said Sumit Batra, Managing Director of Operations Performance and Analytics at American. “This technology is another example of American’s non-stop focus on innovation.”

Smart Gating saves fuel and reduces carbon dioxide emissions

Smart Gating helps American reduce the total time aircraft spend taxiing by 17 hours each day, which saves an estimated 1.4 million gallons of jet fuel annually – enough to fill up 29 Boeing 777-300 aircraft. Smart Gating also helps American reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 13,000 metric tons annually.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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